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General Sir Stanley Maude — His personality — School days — Con- 
temporaries at Eton — With the Coldstream Guards in the 
Soudan — Wounded in South Africa — MiUtary Secretary to the 
Governor-General of Canada — Appointed Secretary to Secretary 
of State for War — On General Staff at War Office — Out to 
France — From Colonel to Brigadier-General — Twenty Generals 
under a cloud — General Maude wounded — His experiences in 
GalUpoli — Lost during the evacuation — Found in time — His 
views of the evacuation — Other Generals' views — Sir Wilham 
Robertson's appreciation of "Joe Maude" — General Maude 
in Egypt and Mesopotamia — Difficulties to be faced — Inade- 
quate transport — Spring floods — Supposed responsibility of .Sir 
Beauchamp Duff — His temperament — Banquets for Sir Beau- 
champ .......... 3 


Some successes and triumphs — Sir George Younghusband's apprecia- 
tion of a " Soldier and Gentleman " — The disappointment of 
Hannah — Sannaiyat's bloody battles — And some heroic souls — 
Two posthumous V.C.'s — General Townshend's address to the 
troops — An heroic attempt abandoned — General Maude's 
working day — His staff's despair — The fat boy A.D.C. — Comes 
to grief — Well-trained orderlies — General Marshall's request — 
General Maude's reply — Medical authorities at fault — Torture 
of the wounded — ConceaUng a failure — General Maude knighted 
— The cause of his death — A beautiful rehgion — The future of 
Mesopotamia — His plans for ex-soldiers — Germany's famous 
railway — Suggested memorials — Wealthy merchant's hand- 
some offer — Sir Stanley IMaude's last despatch — His athletic 
achievements — A modest letter — A gentle conqueror's will — 
Memorial service in St. Paul's Cathedral . . . .21 


A tragedy in the hills — My ayah is communicative — A lonely invalid 
— A lady without a name — An embarrassing situation — Red tape 
amongst the doctors — The chaplain finds it very awkward — A 
bundle of flannel — A pitiful letter — Last words — ^Two English 
pennies — ^Author interviews a stranger — ^The reaison of it all — 



Happenings of political importance — The Afghan Boundary 
Commission — Future possibilities — Railway lines of consequence 
— A prophecy fulfilled — German intrigues in Afghanistan — Un- 
interned Germans — A German mission to Afghanistan — An 
awkward moment for the Amir — Electric hght at Kabul — 
Lord Kitchener and the Amir's cars — Beware of German 
missionaries — Germany's interest in Persia — Why the com- 
mission was necessary — Sir Donald Stewart gives his orders — 
Searching for water — Members of the Commission — An incon- 
venient route — ^The Amir perturbed — Some pig-sticldng — The 
British meet with a rebuff — A jumping-off ground for Russia — 
Colonel Ridgeway at Panjdeh — An agreement broken — The 
Russians under General Komaroff — "A regrettable incident" 
— Sir Peter Lumsden's mistaken pohcy — The Commission feels 
small 56 


An Eastern statesman — He saves the situation — A scare in London — 
Overtaken by a snowstorm — Sir Peter Lumsden declines to 
halt — Another regrettable incident — Sir Peter recalled — Colonel 
Ridgeway knighted — A protocol signed — Differences of opinion 
— A bitter winter — Cossacks' complaints — The British feed 
them — " Those damned Russians " — The British position as 
viewed by Russia — Future relations between Russia and Great 
Britain — Dangerous conversations — Our fleet " can do no 
harm" — A Uttle "show off" — Fresh difficulties — The 1873 
Agreement at fault — ^The Commission returns — Sir West Ridge- 
way at St. Petersburg — As a young man — His career — And 
appointments — WTiat the tea planters say — Lady Ridgeway, 
her love of home — Some soup tickets — The King and Queen 
in Ceylon — A hospital to Lady Ridgeway' s memory — Lord 
Londonderry (sixth Marquess) in Ireland — A beautiful Vicereine 
— Mr. Balfour makes a lifelong friend — A contretemps at 
Court — An air-raid on the East Coast — Lady Castlereagh rescues 
a wounded animal — Lady Londonderry's death — The London- 
derry estates — Some famous reUcs — The founding of their 
industrial wealth — Queen Victoria suppresses a scandal . . 85 


The Russians at home — Surprising customs — Bathroom scenes — 
And etiquettes — Fresh air charged for in the biU — A nourishing 
smell — Ritual during Easter festival — The Tsarevitch cries — 
His illness — A little known medical fact — Seething discontent 
— Every Russian an anarchist — Prince Yousupofi at Oxford — 
His motor-car — Bulldogs and parrots — Feted in Petrograd 
— Peter the Great's gold ducats — His reforms wise and unwise 
— His statue at Petrograd — His so-called will — " The Polish 
Question " — Bismarck's fear of Polish women — Frederick the 
Great admires them — Poland's artistic temperament — No 
middle classes — No half-measures — A loathing of trade . 




The Russian ballet visits England — Golders Green becomes fashion- 
able — Russian domestics — Shopping difficulties — Madame Pav- 
lova and her company tour in America — Pavlova's simplicity — 
A trial to her managers — Mordkin works the sewing-machine — 
Temporary home in a train — PubUcity-agents' enterprise — 
Patience of American audiences — " Gad, what a small stage 1 " — 
Pavlova's maids — Their work and affection — Pavlova mends her 
shoes — Her pet alhgator — A prize-fight between Mordkin and 
Pavlova — The Bishop cleans the boots — Hotels clean and un- 
clean — The alhgator in an hotel — Until the bill was paid ! — A 
motor-car in flames — The late Tsar's loves — Some arrests — 
Corruption grows apace — A baby boycotted — Chocolate and 
water in a bottle — An interpreter for Russian commissioners — 
A Russian officer's diplomacy — With the Red Cross in Russia . 130 


Red Cross nurses misunderstood — The sanitar's forgetfulness — 
Hostile aeroplanes visit the Red Cross camps — With the 
wounded in the dark — A superhuman doctor — Long hours in 
the operating tent — Patience of the wounded — Disgraceful state 
of Russian hospitals — Lady Muriel Paget in the doctor's hands 
— A pre-war Trocadero waiter — Russian orderly's method of 
obeying orders — Enghsh and Russian soldiers fraternise in 
hospital — The Colonel's orderly deviates from former excellence 
— A sergeant's curious report — Operations under difficulties — A 
father's instructions to his wounded son — Two girls influence a 
regiment — A gruesome sight — Prayer before battle — Russians 
and their prisoners — England's lost opportunities — Germany 
steps in — A great Russian scientist — Sour milk a Ufe-prolonger 147 


Enghsh nurse's experiences in Russia — Lady Sibyl Grey and a 
revolver — Lady Muriel Paget' s stories — A quaint prayer — 
Escape of Russian prisoners — An indignant commercial travel- 
ler — Washed in vinegar — A chaplain at work in Flanders — An 
interview — It proved important — How German influence gained 
a footing in Russia — Baron Meyendorff at Monte Carlo — 
Presents his cigarette-case to the author — A wander round the 
Casino — A row between two women — A beautiful woman dis- 
appears — Various methods of making money — A young gambler 
— No programmes issued — A German spy — Author introduced 
to him — He is shot — Count von Hochberg at Dunster — He 
builds a hunting-box — But does not hunt — Orders his valet to 
" blow up the place " — A rumour — Strange discoveries — An 
exciting mothers' meeting — Some people are libelled — La\vyer's 
letters — The Crown Prince in Jermyn Street — " Mickie " and 
" WiUie " have merry times — \^Tlat of Prince Henry of Pless ? 
— And Prince Klinsky ? — Baron von Eckhardstein — Misses the 



chance of his life — Concerning the Anglo- Japanese AUiance — 
King Edward sends an urgent telegram — Count von Biilow and 
the Kaiser — Their views of British Ministers — Mr. Alfred 
Rothschild speaks up — So does the Iving — Absurd secrecy — 
Crown Prince's visits to the " BilUe Carlton " opium den — 
Count von HeltzendorfE searches for him — A horrible discovery 
— A soUtude d deux disturbed — ^The Crown Prince gets a 
thrashing . . . . . • . . . .161 


Lord and Lady E in search of peace — In difficulties — The 

butler offers to lend them money — Fhght to flat-land — Full 
of hope, doubt, despair — Some scourges — The way to live 
in flats — Some scenes — Tea in a Hen Club — Fhght from flat- 
land — Yorkshire once more — An original character out hunting 
— The author feels small — A surprise at tea-time — Our country 
manners — The sportswoman lights her pipe — We meet in 
church — Impressions left on the mind . . . . .183 


Mr. Lloyd George — Is he a conundrum ? — What the Quakers 
think — The Prime ^Minister's early environment — The cobbler 
uncle — The lawyer defends the lawless — Lloyd George in a fury 
— The temperaments of North and South Wales — Forming a 
character — An annoying smile — Repartee of yesterday and 
to-day — Sir John Gibson of Aberystwyth — Suffragettes complain 
of rough handhng — The Welsh people offended — Lawyers in 
the House of Commons — Lloyd George's first Budget — Demo- 
cratic royalties — Lloyd George makes a mistake — Lord Selborne 
has something to say — Some inaccuracies — Lord Northcliffe and 
Lloyd George — Mr. Labouchere's cynicism — Count Hayashi 
defines a diplomatist — A diplomatist teaches his wife — Harsh 
words — A meeting at Harrods — A political understudy — A 
wife's diplomacy — She hates it — Introduction of a foreign 
prince — Colonel Cato's financial stress — The prince to the 
rescue — Oriental cunning — An official rumpus — A big cheque — 
ObUging bank manager — An enquiry — A friend in need — A 
horrible day — Prevarications — The prince plays up — His 
Highness offended — Good-bye ...... 205 


Dora Dennis's childhood — Her God-fearing parents — She runs 
away — ^\^lere she was found — The Vicar mounts the stable 
ladder — Breathless moments — An awful fall — Mr. Dennis 
anticipates lock-jaw — The cook anticipates cancer — The doctor 
called in — Dora leaves home — She becomes a hospital nurse — 
Is sent to nurse a sick clergyman — Homesick — Forgetful old 
Moses — The patient asks a question — Dora's reply — Mr. 
Dennis dies — His will — What happened to Dora in the fog . 238 




Some snobs — ^Blue-blooded ones — Otherwise — A commercial papa 
scores — Are we all mad ? — Might-have-been days — Some pet 
economies — A noble lord's "shoot" — A host speaks his mind 
— Di Barringtown's love — Her indiscretions — A little lecture — 
An annoyed wife — A snub from Ascot — More home truths — A 
miserable explanation — A curious divorce — The butler gives 
notice — A sanctimonious prig — A heartless mother — Mr. 
Justice Butt looks bored — Eloquent Counsel — Defendant falls 
out with the judge — Counsel insulted — The judge makes a 
suggestion — Both parties agree — Off to Paris . . . .257 


Stories from the war zone — Bully-beef tin villages — German food 
rationing upset — Mr. Lloyd George and a General — Field- 
Marshal Lord Methuen — His popularity — His interest in the 
sick — Kindness to the nurses — The King and Queen pay a sur- 
prise visit — What happened — An angry but playful doctor — 
Lord Methuen and the soldiers' canteens — Some scandals — 
Lord Leverhulme and Sir Richard Burbidge make enquiries — 
The mihtary authorities upset — General Sir JuUan Byng — His 
new words of command — A dream reaUsed — From charging 
cavalry to charging tanks — Etonians in the war — A human 
document — From a dead man's pocket — A Mrs. V.C. — The 
squire at a concert — A contretemps — Sir Wilfrid Lawson and Mr. 
Justice Grantham — They^ write verses — Some fellow-travellers . 


General Sir Stanley Maude in Mesopotamia Wearing 

HIS Beloved Norwegian Boots .... Frontispiece 

Camp on the Tigris ...... .Pacing page 14 

General Sir George Younghusband leaving a Hospital 

Ship „ aa 

Donkeys Standing in the Smoke of a Burning Refuse 

Heap in Hopes of Driving the Flies Away . ,, 30 

Sir Stanley Maude's Entry into Baghdad . . ,,48 

The Right Hon. Sir J. West Ridgeway when Under- 
Secretary for Ireland ..... ,, loa 

Lady West Ridgeway . . . . . . ,, 104 

The Late Theresa, Marchioness of Londonderry, in 

her Coronation Robes ..... ,, 106 

The Late Lord Londonderry, 6th Marquess . . „ 108 

Madame Pavlova and Monsieur Mordkin . . . ,, 136 

{From a picture by Michael Jacobs.) 

Count von Hochberg, whose Coat of Arms has now 
been Removed from his Seat in Old Cleeve 
Church and his Estate Sequestered by the 
Government ....... ,, 174 

Prince Charles Kinsky . . . . . . ,, 176 

Field-Marshal Lord Methuen ..... „ 286 

Some Notable Men in the ioth Hussars . . . ,, 288 

General the Hon. Sir Julian Byng To-day . . „ 288 

Captain Claude de Crespigny, 2nd Life Guards. 

Recommended for the V.C. .... ,, 292 




General Sir Stanley Maude— His personality — School days — Con- 
temporaries at Eton — With the Coldstream Guards in the 
Soudan — Wounded in South Africa — Military Secretary to the 
Governor-General of Canada — Appointed Secretary to Secretary 
of State for War — On General Staff at War Office — Out to 
France — From Colonel to Brigadier-General — Twenty Generals 
under a cloud — General Maude wounded — His experiences in 
GaUipoh — Lost during the evacuation — Found in time — His 
views of the evacuation — Other Generals' views — Sir William 
Robertson's appreciation of " Joe Maude" — General Maude in 
Egypt and Mesopotamia — Difficulties to be faced — Inadequate 
transport — Spring floods — Supposed responsibility of Sir 
Beauchamp Duff — His temperament — Banquets for Sir 

MEMORY has a way of leading one into all sorts of 
places, amongst all sorts of people and things, and 
if allowed to have its ov^ti way, which is really 
best for it, is inclined to make one appear erratic — but what 
matter ? 

The study of human nature is of absorbing interest, we 
come unexpectedly upon so much goodness, so much pluck, 
and yet, occasionally, so much selfishness, but upon very few 
occasions human beings who are not interesting. 

We used to spend our lives waiting for the next post, all 
of us, children, grown-ups, aged, all waiting for the next 
post, when suddenly a thousand posts were heaped upon us 
with a crash, and ever since events have been treading on 
one another's heels with such rapidity that we have not had 
time to study all that great post brought for us ; and some 
of the human documents may easily be forgotten as each 



day brings us fresh excitements, fresh griefs and tragedies, 
fresh joys and thanksgivings. 

Hardly a day has passed during this European War but 
some brave man has died an heroic death. Many glorious 
and wondrous deeds have been done which will never be 
heard of by the public, deeds that lie buried under the 
mantle of their owti virtue. Owing to the rush of great 
events I have fears that the memory of that brilliant soldier 
General Sir Stanley Maude may be crowded out. Had he 
lived he would have been one of the returning heroes wel- 
comed with brass bands. Royal thanks, and public honours. 

Most people know of his military achievements, but there 
are, I find, very many who know little or nothing of his per- 
sonality which was striking, or the real cause of his death. 
Therefore " lest we forget " I am writing a little of what 
I know of a remarkably unselfish, self-reliant, straight- 
forward man. 

It is curious that while undoubtedly a born soldier, during 
the early part of his life soldiering held no special attrac- 
tion for him ; what he loved was racing and sport, and he 
dearly loved a gamble. At no time in his life was he a rich 
man ; nevertheless he raced and spent money ; then sud- 
denly for some reason best known to himself he began to 
take Hfe seriously. 

His early education at the age of eleven was begun at 
Hawiirey's Preparatory School at Slough in 1875, and con- 
tinued at Eton in ]\Ir. F. W. Cornish's house. When eighteen 
and a bit, he went to Sandhurst. Amongst other cadets 
there at the same time who became his life-long friends 
and whose names have become familiar to us were General 
Kavanagh, D.S.O. ; General the Hon. William Lambton, 
D.S.O. ; and General Levita, lately commanding the depot 
of the Eastern Command. 

Although fond of athletics and sport, Maude evidently 
did not allow them to interfere with his work, for, in addi- 
tion to carrying away with him a good record for running 
and riding, his reports showed high marks for his examina- 
tions in mihtary administration, military law, tactics and 


fortifications, though highest of all in military topography 
and reconnaissance, while his conduct was described as 
" exemplary." 

Leaving the Royal Military College in 1884, he was 
appointed to the Coldstream Guards. At this time he stood 
six foot three inches, was well set up and handsome. He 
shared with the majority of those who are popular, the 
privilege of having a nickname, his baptismal name being 
Frederick he was best known amongst his many friends as 
" Joe Maude." 

His first active service was in the Soudan in 1885 while a 
subaltern in the Coldstream Guards, being present at the 
Battle of Hasheen and Tamai, for which he received the 
medal and Khedive's Star. Then came the South 
African War in which he took an active part from 1889 to 
1901, being present in the advance on Kimberley and the 
actions of Poplar Grove, Driefontien, Karee Siding, Vet 
River and Zand River, the operations in the Transvaal, 
actions in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill and 
Belfast. He was several times mentioned in despatches and 
received the Queen's Medal with six clasps and the D.S.O. 

During these South African experiences he was wounded 
in his right arm, which remained stiff for the rest of his life, 
and prevented him from raising it high enough to salute 
in the regular and orthodox manner. A fall while skating 
in Canada added to its original South African stiffness. 

In 1901 Maude had become a Lieutenant -Colonel and 
went out to Canada to succeed General Lawrence Drummond 
as Military Secretary to Lord Minto, who was Governor- 
General at that time. Lady Minto speaks of Stanley Maude 
as a hard-working and most efficient Military Secretary. 

His work was no sinecure, for the entire arrangements 
both inside and out of Government House passed through 
his hands with the assistance of an under-secret ary named 
Arthur Sladen, who is, or was a short time ago, still out there 
at Government House, Ottawa. 

Stanley Maude, who was the younger son of the late 
General Sir F. Maude, V.C, married in 1893 one of the 


handsome daughters of Colonel Taylor of Ardgillan Castle, 
Co. Dublin, and she accompanied him to Canada, where 
they lived at the official residence of the secretary known 
by the name of " Rideon Cottage," if my memory serves 
me faithfully. 

Considering that Maude was not a conversationalist, 
and did not enjoy social functions, it is rather surprising 
that he was a success as Military Secretary. Perhaps his 
very charming manners and his tact which was born of 
sympathy made up for his non-appreciation of the many 
social functions. 

That he worked very hard there is no doubt. By the 
evening he was often quite exhausted. Of necessity he was 
the busiest man on the staff, and I have been told by others 
who were there at the time, that he never failed in a single 
duty, even when he had all the arranging of the tour of our 
present King and Queen. These tours are a great tax upon 
the Military Secretary's capabilities. The ordinary Gover- 
nor-General's is quite trying enough with its endless fixtures 
to be crammed into each day ; quite possibly about fifteen 
addresses have to be received, a convent visited, or a 
hospital ; a mayor's luncheon, followed by a reception, and 
then more visits to a blind institution or some such charity, 
all in one day. 

The Military Secretary's business is to see there are no 
hitches, no delay, and that everybody is pleased and in a 
good temper, and above all that His Excellency should be 
safe, and likewise, if possible, in a good temper. 

The Controller who was under the Military Secretary 
attended to details such as menus, etc., but for the rest 
Maude was entirely responsible. The whole of his time and 
all his thoughts were given to his work. He attended no 
parties for pleasure, not even skating and ski-ing, and was 
at all times very Spartan, could not even be persuaded to 
wear an overcoat until the thermometer was below zero ! 
He remained in Canada with the Mintos until 1904, then 
came home and was appointed private secretary to the 
Secretary of State for War. 


When the European War broke out he was on the General 
Staff at the War Office, with thirty years' service, still a 
Colonel and meditating retiring, but the war changed all 
that, and he rapidly came to the front, his rather exceptional 
capabilities being quickly recognised. Why he had never 
come to the front before it is hard to tell, for he was a pains- 
taking and brilliant soldier, which all allow who knew him 
and his work. 

Most of his time hitherto had been spent as a staff officer 
and as Military Secretary. Now he devoted all his energies 
in helping to create the New Army. An old brother officer 
of his in the Guards (he is now a General) tells me Maude's 
patience and kindliness while educating a number of officers 
quite new to the work, and who notwithstanding were at 
times somewhat self-opinionated, were exemplary. He took 
such infinite pains, going into the smallest details with them, 
explaining all the whys and wherefores. Many tributes 
have since been paid by those officers whom he trained, to 
their instructor's brilliant quahties as a teacher, and I have 
been told the success that has been attained in France by the 
division Maude trained is considered due largely to the way 
he grounded the officers in their work. 

Maude went out to France when the third corps was 
formed under General Pultenay. A little later the 8th 
Division under General Davies was ordered out and sent 
to relieve some troops at Laventie. Here he found his friend 
Maude of Eton and Coldstream Guards days commanding 
a Brigade. It was a pleasant meeting and rather a surprise 
to find Colonel Maude grown into a Brigadier-General. 

I have known several men holding quite junior rank, 
majors and so forth, when war broke out, who had for some 
years been doing no soldiering and entirely out of touch with 
all modern scientific warfare methods, suddenly turned 
into full-blown Brigadier-Generals and expected to man- 
oeuvre and handle their troops after the latest approved 
fashion. Of course the poor souls did their best, and while 
preening themselves on their new exalted rank, suddenly 
received marching orders for home as not being competent. 


It seems rather hard lines, for what else could be expected ? 
I know one little batch of twenty generals came home under 
a cloud, more or less, for I happen to know several of them ; 
a few of the more fortunate being promised other posts more 
suitable ! 

During General Maude's active service in France he was 
badly wounded and mentioned in despatches five times. 

I have heard people say, " Oh, but he was a Guardsman, 
they always do things for them, and give them well-paid 
and easy jobs." On second thoughts I think they were 
called " soft jobs." 

I do not think anybody can truly say Stanley Maude had 
any soft jobs during the Great War, either in France, Galli- 
poli or Mesopotamia, and he certainly proved he was worthy 
of all he received in acknowledgment , and a great deal more 
besides, which would no doubt have followed if he had been 
fortunate enough to reach home without any little throw- 
back or side slip, which has been the fate ^vithin my remem- 
brance of some fine soldiers when all their early heroism 
has been quickly forgotten and only the side slip remembered. 

Gallipoli came next in Stanley Maude's experiences. He 
was at Suvla most of the time. After the evacuation of 
that place, he took his Division to Mudros and from there 
to Cape Helles, where he was severely handled in an attack 
by the enemy on January 7th, the day before the final 
evacuation of Cape Helles. 

This attack was repulsed with great loss to the enemy, 
but was also costly to us. 

There are various stories told of General Maude at this 
time, one being that when orders were given to evacuate 
Cape Helles, and it became known that the GaUipoli Cam- 
paign was a thing to be wiped off the slate and if possible 
buried and forgotten. General Maude could not at first 
believe it, the idea of evacuation being most painful to 
him, and there were some, who did not know his stem sense 
of duty and his love of strict soldierly discipline, who feared 
he might " queer the whole evacuation at the last moment 
by starting an attack on the Turks all on his own," for they 


knew how firmly he believed, in fact never doubted for a 
moment, that with proper reinforcements and munitions 
they could have taken Constantinople. In consequence of 
this, the consternation was great when the last moment 
had arrived that all should be on board, and no General 
Maude put in an appearance, considerable anxiety was also 
felt for his safety. 

What had really happened was this. The Staff of his 
Division was ordered originally to embark at a place called 
Gully Beach, about two miles from the place of embarka- 
tion. At the time the last troops were leaving, the wind 
had risen and a heavy sea was running. The lighter on which 
Maude had embarked got out of control and ran ashore, 
where, as far as I know, it still remains. The troops had to 
disembark and march down to the main place of embarka- 
tion. Maude thought he would do a short cut on his own 
account, only to find himself hung up amongst barbed wire 
defences, which had been arranged to protect the beach, 
and he ran a very good chance of being left behind altogether. 
The embarkation of the last troops of all had to be delayed 
until he was found. 

If the Turks had only known what the future had in 
store for him, they would not have lost their opportunity. 

As a matter of fact the Turks never moved until next 
morning, and I have heard various reasons assigned for their 
tranquillity, one being they knew perfectly well our troops 
were stealing away and, at the very time of our supposed 
secret movements, they were busy printing leaflets to scatter 
amongst the native troops telling them they were being 
deserted by their white friends who were leaving them to 
have their throats cut. 

But I must return to General Maude who was still absent 
and causing much uneasiness as to his fate. The story goes 
that he eventually turned up dragging his kit-bag, which 
was full of trophies and which nothing would make him 
leave behind, so at the risk of his Ufe he stuck to it, having 
protracted struggles amidst barbed wire, etc. 

The long wait whilst Maude was struggling with barbed 


wire caused a person holding a high position now at the front 
to write the following poem, shall I call it ? — that has been 
given to me. 

" Found at Helles on January 9th. 

Come into the lighter, Maude, 

For the fuse has long been lit, 
Come into the lighter, Maude, 

And never mind your kit. 

I've waited here an hour or more. 

The news that your march is o'er. 
The sea runs high, but what care I, 

It's better to be sick than blown sky high. 

So jump into the lighter, Maude, 

The allotted time is flown, 
Come into the lighter, Maude, 

I'm oS in the launch alone, 

I'm 08. in the launch a-lone. 


Generals holding responsible positions in these times are 
not to be envied. They seem to be used chiefly as buffers 
for the political string-pullers to hide behind, when anything 
goes wrong with the civilian controlled campaign. If the 
truth is ever allowed to be known of the Dardanelles Cam- 
paign from start to finish I think it will put a few more nails 
into the coffin of civilian controlled campaigns, but perhaps 
it would make no difference. I can remember no case in 
history where civilians meddling with the soldiers has been 
a success, but still it goes on ; perhaps it always will. 

I happen to know the views held by the late Sir Stanley 
Maude on the Gallipoli fiasco, and his judgment and ability, 
so self-evident later in Mesopotamia, gives weight to his 

He was violently opposed to the evacuation idea, as I 
have already stated. But we all know now that the 
authorities at home thought otherwise, for a new plan had 
dawTied upon them, its name was Loos ! 

It became a question of taking Constantinople or Loos — 
they choose Loos ! 


I have heard the GalhpoH campaign discussed frequently 
by people who evidently knew little about it except from 
hearsay. I am, therefore, tempted to digress a little and 
let in some light on the subject, which I received direct 
from a great friend of mine who held a big command out 
there and was through the occupation and evacuation. 

I asked my friend to explain some points that had per- 
plexed me. Amongst other things I wished to know if he 
could tell me what was the real meaning of that much- 
quoted epithet " Unthinkable " which appeared in one of 
Sir Ian Hamilton's despatches in reference to the question 
of evacuation. In reply I was told, " Only Sir Ian himself 
can say in what sense he used that word ; but it seems 
fairly clear that he must have meant something more than 
the mere physical difficulty of such an enterprise, seeing he 
had himself evacuated a couple of divisions with complete 
success. Lord Kitchener to whom the Despatch was 
addressed must have understood the reference, otherwise 
he would have had it cut out . 

" I myself have very little doubt that the word was a 
reminder by Sir Ian to Lord Kitchener of the repeated 
pledges made to him by his old Chief and the Government, 
that once he had started fighting there was to be no turning 
our backs on Gallipoli." 

I know also that Lord Kitchener's views on this point 
have not been quite correctly placed before the public, 
any more than have his views concerning the intelligence 
and ability of his colleagues. 

General Maude said, " It [speaking of the evacuation] 
came as a bomb-shell to us all. In September we were told 
we were to have the reinforcements that were needed, 

consisting of four French Divisions, under , and two 

Divisions of fresh British troops which, in the opinion of 
every officer who carried any weight, was ample to enable 
us to push through, but that miserable Loos spoilt every- 

Another friend who was at that time holding a responsible 
post out there, after telling me of Maude's disappointment 


at the turn of events and of his soldierly qualities, said, 
" And I was in entire sympathy with him. The upshot of 
the whole affair is to my mind certain, namely, the expedi- 
tion failed through the timidity and divided counsels of the 
higher direction at home who changed their minds between 
Loos and Constantinople twice in ojie month ! " 

" We in Gallipoli never had anything like our fair share 
of guns and high explosives given at that time to the French 
front, then came that fatal error the Salonika diversion, 
and General Hamilton had to evacuate two of his divisions 
to Salonika, while no reinforcements were sent to fill our 
depleted regiments. During most of the fighting and at 
the end we were only half our nominal strength, and there 
in Salonika between the mountains and the sea those troops 
remain — a regular eel trap." 

This was the last straw, but the camels whose backs will 
be broken are not the soldiers' but the poor old things with 
the hump called " wait and see." 

The same friend who was a great admirer of both Stanley 
Maude and Sir Ian Hamilton at another time said, " By 
the way no kudos whatever fell to Hamilton's share though 
he evacuated the French and Irish divisions without losing 
a man, gun, or horse." 

There is a desperate amount of luck attending all great 
military manoeuvres. A success in the morning, and the 
General Commanding is a wondrous genius ; a throw-back 
in the evening, and he is useless and incompetent. 

Such is life ! 

General Maude had a great admiration for Sir William 
Robertson and Sir Douglas Haig. He was always holding 
them up to his staff as examples. The former I know was 
likewise an admirer of General Maude, for in a letter to me 
soon after the bad news reached England he wrote, " Joe 
Maude was universally admired both for his soldierly 
qualities and Stirling, upright character. He was a staff 
officer of the best type, while as a commander he possessed 
the great quality of inspiring his men with his own confidence 
and determination. His achievements in his last campaign 


were of the highest order and speak for themselves. His 
army were devoted to him and he was a man whom Ireland 
and the Empire as a whole could ill afford to lose. The 
example he invariably set of patriotism, unselfishness, 
loyalty and modesty cannot but have exercised great 
influence for good upon all those who were brought into 
contact with him." 

All who knew and cared for General Maude wiU value 
this appreciation of Sir William Robertson at its true worth, 
for he is a very fine man, embodying those qualities which 
Englishmen used to think were their own. Strong in 
character, a man of few words, essentially straightforward 
and loyal ; anyone dealing with him has the advantage of 
knowing exactly where he is. How he came to accept the 
Eastern Command is a mystery, but I strongly suspect his 
motives were purely patriotic, his taking up this smaller 
appointment undoubtedly, for the moment, saved Lord 
Derby, as well as Mr. Lloyd George and his Government. 

Sir Harry Wilson who succeeded General Robertson is 
another type entirely ; quick, fluent, adroit, and not so 
popular with the soldiers. Professionally and intellectually 
he is well equipped for carrying on his present duties, but 
the politicians will find that they are children at their own 
game compared with Harry Wilson. 

Various questions remain unanswered in my mind in 
connection with the many scrapped generals at this time. 

We all know now, for time has proved it, that General 
Robertson was right on all the points on which he did not 
agree with the higher authorities. Lord Derby has now 
taken Lord Berties place as Ambassador in Paris and I am 
reminded of one of Mr. A. J. Balfour's cryptic sayings, that 
because a man is a failure in one office it does not follow 
that he will be in another ; the equally cryptic saying of 
another parliamentarian naturally follows, we must " wait 
and see." 

We must now follow General Maude to Egypt ; from 
there he moved to Basra with his division in Februaiy or 
March, 1916. It was after the failure to relieve Kut in 


January and he was told to push up with all speed in detach- 
ments as soon as shipping became available. 

The position at the front which General Maude had to 
face was one of considerable difficulty, the troops under 
General Aylmer had failed to reach Kut, the river transport 
was deplorable, ships which had been collected in Indian 
ports had been unable to leave them owing to stormy 
weather, others which actually started had met with storms 
and been sunk en route. The land transport was entirely 
inadequate and not only confined operations to the im- 
mediate vicinity of the river, but during any advance even 
along the river itself had to be supplemented by further 
drains on the river transport. 

It can easily be understood how the deficiency of transport 
affected the situation up the Tigris, where local supplies 
were practically non-existent ; everything had to be brought 
up from the base at Basra, even fodder for the animals and 
fuel for cooking. The transport trouble handicapped all 
movements, and was one of the chief causes of anxiety, it 
being possible only to convey reinforcements up the river 
at the expense of supplies and vice versa, the result being, 
that during the operations for the relief of Kut from January 
to April, although a bare minimum of supplies was main- 
tained at the front, reinforcements often amounting to 
25 per cent of the entire force were continuously held up at 
the base or the lines of communication for lack of transport. 

Another anxiety at this time was the spring floods, during 
which nothing but continual construction and endless 
repairs of the embankment along the river banks could 
prevent extensive inundations, or protect the camping 
grounds of the troops from being flooded out. 

These are only a few of the difficulties the situation 
presented when on April ist General ]\Iaude moved up the 
left bank of the Tigris to take part in active operations, 
which, however, were delayed by heavy rains making the 
country impassable. 

To those who know nothing of the climate of Mesopo- 
tamia I would Uke to point out two most important things 


to bear in mind while viewing the work before Stanley 
Maude, namely, the climate, and the navigation peculiar 
to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. 

The name Mesopotamia means between two rivers. I think 
General Maude must have felt he was between " the devil 
and the deep sea." 

The heat may be gauged by the fact that a double fly 
tent is inadequate to protect Europeans from sunstroke. 
Steamers of special and peculiar type are necessary to 
combat the eccentricities of the river navigation. 

General Maude said that " much expenditure as well as 
experienced forethought was necessary in such a treacherous 
climate and under such transport difficulties, if the troops 
were to have a chance of keeping their health, a mass of 
equipment, necessaries, comforts and medical supplies were 
necessary, ice, ventilating fans, quinine, double tents, sun 
helmets and thousands of other such things, none of which 
were forthcoming." 

This was partly owing to a drastic scheme of retrenchment 
in India, where it had been decided that the Indian Army 
need never contemplate any military trouble with an army 
of a European power. 

Everything was cut down to the lowest fraction, guns to 
an almost negligible quantity, and of big guns, if I may 
believe what I am told, there were none, while the troops 
available for immediate mobilisation were cut down 
from nine to seven divisions ; therefore, after all Lord 
Kitchener's and Lord Roberts' endeavours, the Indian Army 
was in a worse position than during the South African war. 

This was bad enough, but what worried General Maude 
even more was the scandal of the medical and hospital 

He had to re-arrange as far as was possible the 
entire situation. He deplored the system that has sprung 
up of late years of official telegrams being marked 
" private," and in consequence treated as the private and 
confidential property of the recipient, and not filed in the 
Military Department in the old-fashioned way. The result 


of this departure from the usual military highways was that 
a number of officials were quite unaware of what it was 
essential they should know. For instance, in consequence 
of this secrecy, Sir John Nixon in Mesopotamia was not 
aware that information had been received that about 
60,000 Turkish troops were believed to be massing near 
Baghdad. Had this information reached him, it might 
have entirely changed the course of what proved a disas- 
trous affair. 

This system of secrecy was approved by the Secretary of 
State for India, who considered it wise, so as to prevent 
items of importance becoming known in quarters where it 
would not be desirable. 

Some Members of Council in India have solemnly de- 
clared that they were never even consulted as to the Meso- 
potamian Campaign, but there is some difficulty in tracing 
all the happenings and telegrams, as it is the habit of the 
Secretary of State and Governor-General to take away with 
them at the end of their tenure of office all these secret 
telegrams ; consequently there is no public record for 
reference at any later date. 

The Commission when enquiring into these mistakes of 
the campaign stated that " a number of these telegrams 
of the gravest consequence relating to the overseas expedi- 
tions were with one exception marked private." Therefore 
a number of people were unaware of what was taking place 
and what had to be prepared for. Confusion and great loss 
of life was the result. For how could there be any unity of 
action ? 

General Sir Douglas Haig (whom General Maude was 
always quoting), when chief of the staff in India in 1911, 
ventured to point out to the authorities that the Indian 
Military Establishment might have to supply an expedi- 
tionary force to meet a European Army, having in his 
mind the chance of war with Turkey and quite possibly 
supported by Germany. The authorities were not impressed. 

After Agadir, where I had a friend who gave me thrilling 
descriptions, the possibility of war with Germany was con- 


sidered of sufficient importance to necessitate preparations 
in England of both Army and Navy, but in India no steps 
were taken to see what she could do to help, until late in 
1913 and early in 1914. 

Considering how the want of transport, medical necessities, 
big guns, and ammunition hampered General Maude when 
he took over the supreme command, it struck me as just 
and generous of him to make excuses (as he did) for those 
responsible. We all know how in January, 1916, just before 
General Maude succeeded Sir Percy Lake, the officers 
responsible for the transport in Mesopotamia became so 
worried at the difficulties that beset them, preventing a 
supply of transport for the relief of Kut, that in consultation 
with General Money, chief of the General Staff, a telegram 
was sent to Simla stating that, owing to lack of transport, 
aU idea of the relief of Kut would have to be abandoned. 

I believe the transport authorities worded the telegram 
explaining the situation as " so frightfully serious," showing 
clearly that somebody was frightened out of the usual 
orthodox red-tape expressions. 

The reply received was to the effect that if General Cooper, 
Assistant Adjutant-General and C.M.G., sent any more 
" petulant demands for shipping I shall at once remove 
him from the force and refuse him further employment of 
any kind." 

Poor Sir Beauchamp Duff is supposed to have been 
responsible for this wire, and we all remember how the 
worry of the whole affair upset his health — and the tragic 
sequel. The more tragic, inasmuch, that there never lived 
a more cautious, scrupulous, and reticent man than Sir 
Beauchamp Duff. But for that, not a little of the blame 
laid upon his shoulders might have found its home elsewhere. 
This was thoroughly understood, all knew they were quite 
safe ; Duff would not speak. But so keenly did he feel 
being deprived of his command that he was busy preparing 
his defence with the help of a learned King's Counsel at the 
time of his death, when an overdose of a sleeping draught 
put an end to his bitter reflections. 


I once asked one of Sir Beauchamp's A.D.C.'s if he thought 
his chief would give me some information I wanted of a very 
ordinary kind concerning a post that had been offered to a 
relation of mine. The reply I received was, " I should 
certainly ask his advice and of course he can help you, but 
you will be a very clever woman if you can get an3^.hing 
out of him, he is the most absurdly cautious man I 

It so happened that I did not get the information I 
wanted, which was of a very ordinary and non-committal 
kind, but the amount of hedging around the information 
was most " canny." I verily believe -that if I had said to 
him, " It is very mild for the time of the year," or " There 
is a great scarcity of small birds this year," he would 
after some deep thought have said, " That irn-y be so, but 
you must not take my word for it." 

Perhaps his very caution led to the disasters of which 
the Commission blamed him and asked him to prepare his 
defence. Several others were asked at the same time to 
" give their reasons in writing," as the lawyers say, but they 
did not perhaps take it so much to heart. There are some 
men who can eat a good dinner, and sleep the sleep of the just, 
no matter what the day's worries have been ; others cannot, 
and Sir Beauchamp was one of the latter. 

He had been chief of Lord Kitchener's Staff in India and 
it was on the latter's recommendation that he was made 
Commander-in-Chief ; and I think he had found, as did 
Lord Kitchener when he was made Secretary of State for 
War, that while he imagined he was well versed in the ways 
of diplomatists and politicians, he had still much to learn 
of their methods. 

Lord Kitchener was for him quite communicative on 
this subject. 

Sir Beauchamp Duff was not a superstitious man or he 
would not have sat down one of thirteen to dinner as he 
did on his return from India, when Sir Claude de Crespigny 
gave him a welcome home at the Caledonian Club, the very 
building where Sir Beauchamp died a short time afterwards. 


Another guest that night was Sir Bourchier Wrey. He died 
suddenly within a couple of months. 

In a letter written by a man of very high position at the 
time of Sir Beauchamp's trouble he told Sir Claude, " I do 
not blame the man, but the system." 

When I remember all the banquets, dinners and con- 
gratulations showered on Sir Beauchamp before his depar- 
ture for India, it makes me sad to think of his disappointment 
and unhappiness. Sir Claude de Crespigny was one of the 
friends who gave him a farewell dinner at the Caledonian 
Club, and amongst Sir Claude's other guests that night were 
Sir John French, General Allenby, Sir W. Pitcairn Campbell, 
Sir Francis Lloyd, and Mr. Norman de Crespigny, Sir 
Claude's son in the Queen's Bays. 

The first two have made history, the second two have 
held high commands and the fifth died as gallant a death 
as any hero of the war, and by so doing saved his regiment 
from being enfiladed. I will refer to this again later. 

At this farewell dinner. Sir Claude came off rather badly, 
and he tells me an amusing story of how it happened. 

" The wine butler, a capital fellow and old K.D.G., gave 
me vintage port in a small glass, so I promptly reported him 
to Allenby who was sitting next to me, and who was then 
Inspector of Cavalry. 

" Allenby looked reprovingly at the butler, but before he 
could get in a word the butler fired the first shot, with 
' Beg pardon. General, but I was in your column in South 
Africa,' so they got discussing their beastly column and 
ignoring my legitimate complaint ! In the heat of the 
discussion Allenby upset my liqueur brandy, so I balanced 
matters by surreptitiously annexing his." And in such 
happy banter the evening was spent. 

A few days later Sir John French also gave Sir Beauchamp 
Duff a send-off dinner at Lancaster Gate. Sir Claude de 
Crespigny was one of the guests. Speaking of this dinner 
he says, " A better repast was never my luck to partake of, 
and the wine was superb." 

Sir Claude is a loyal and true friend, as I know, and a 


grand hater also. Yet so kind-hearted is he, that if the man 
he respected least, and disliked the most, came to him in 
any sort of trouble, asking his help, I doubt very much if 
he would be sent "empty away" ; though he might, and 
probably would, hear some straight speaking as well. 

But I must return to General Maude. 

Nothing would persuade him to make a move towards 
Kut until he had set everything more or less straight and 
in working order. He was at all times full of thought and 
consideration for the men and recognition of the services 
of all who helped him. 

It was fortunate that General Maude appeared on the 
scene and with supreme command, before all the pow- 
wowing and bickering had ended in irreparable harm for 
the Empire. All was chaos until he picked up the reins. 


Some successes and triumphs — Sir George Younghusband's apprecia- 
tion of a " Soldier and Gentleman " — The disappointment of 
Hannah — Sannaiyat's bloody battles — And some heroic souls — 
Two posthumous V.C.'s — General Townshend's address to the 
troops — An heroic attempt abandoned — General Maude's 
working day — His stafi's despair — The fat boy A.D.C. — Comes 
to grief — Well-trained orderlies — General Marshall's request — 
General Maude's reply — Medical authorities at fault — Torture 
of the wounded — Concealing a failure — General Maude knighted 
— The cause of his death — A beautiful religion— The future of 
Mesopotamia — His plans for ex-soldiers — Germany's famous 
railway — Suggested memorials — Wealthy merchant's hand- 
some offer — Sir Stanley Maude's last despatch — His athletic 
achievements — A modest letter — A gentle conqueror's will — 
Memorial service in St. Paul's Cathedral. 

AT last on the morning of April 5th all was in 
readiness. General Maude began his appointed 
task, and the division successfully assaulted the 
Hannah position, one of great strength, which the Turks 
had been occupying since January, and which lay between 
the Suwaikieh Marsh (which extends northward right up 
to the Persian foot-hills) and the Tigris. 

That same night the next position at Falahiyah, three 
miles west of Hannah, was taken by the Division. Both 
these successes were great triumphs for General Maude. 

General Sir George Younghusband, 7th (Meerut) Division, 
had been through three very bloody battles endeavouring to 
take these positions and they had been up against nearly 
three times their own number of Turks without rest or 
relief. They had laboriously sapped up to within about a 
hundred yards of Hannah, and General Maude's Division 
(the 13th New Army) which was fresh was put in to take it. 

Speaking of this time. General Younghusband expresses 
himself as having been greatly impressed with the admirable 


manner in which Maude took over a perfect lab^Tinth of 
works measuring no less than fifteen miles of spade-work. 
Younghusband offered Maude and his staff food and drink, 
but they would take nothing but a drink of water, a kindly 
thought, for they knew how hard up the 7th Division was 
for everything. 

The following morning before dawn the 7th Division were 
up about a thousand yards behind the front line watching 
Maude's attack. It went through like clockwork, and in 
half an hour ]\Iaude had won a very striking victory. 

General Younghusband now received orders to follow 
Maude's Division, pass through it, and next day to storm 
a further position some five miles back. This was to take 
place during the night. About 9 p.m. he found General 
Maude in a deserted Turkish dug-out in a rather agitated 
state of mind, complaining that he had got out of touch 
wdth his brigade and could not make out what was happen- 
ing, but wounded men were coming back, saying they were 
" up against it." 

At the appointed time General Younghusband pushed 
through, only to find the Turks had had enough and had 
cleared out. A little later after two most heroic efforts had 
been made against what was practically an unassailable 
position with the means obtainable. General Maude was 
again sent up to see if he could repeat the magic of Hannah. 

Once more he took over splendidly, and again he attacked 
with the same careful methods, but this time his star was 
clouded and his division, like General Younghusband 's, was 
repulsed. This depressed him a good deal, but he cheered 
up when told by those who had witnessed the whole battle 
that neither he nor his troops could have done better, and 
that it was too hard a nut to crack without considerably 
more of everything than they had, or were able to get. 
Though a little consoled Maude was woefully disappointed. 

It was immediately after the inundations both from 
river and marsh which not only curtailed the frontage for 
attack but converted the whole of the country of no man's 
land into a veritable quagmire, that General Maude was 


called upon on the 8th or 9th of April to attempt the capture 
of the Sannaiyat position, but this, like the preceding efforts, 

Those battles at Sannaiyat were the bloodiest of the series 
in the attempted relief of Kut ; the casualties on both sides 
being so great that a truce was called to enable the killed 
and wounded to be removed. Twice General Younghusband 
tried to take Sannaiyat and twice General Maude en- 
deavoured to do so, both alike failing. It was an impossible 
undertaking with the means at hand. The Turks had their 
left flank on the Salt Lake and their right on the Tigris, and 
the two divisions had to go up the dead level, as open as a 
billiard table, on a narrow front, to attack them. There 
were no artillery to knock the enemy silly as they have in 

This General Younghusband is the Sir George who wrote 
that delightful book " A Soldier's Memories." He led a 
charmed life in Mesopotamia, having three wonderful 
escapes. Once a bullet or piece of shrapnel hit a gold pencil- 
case in his pocket and glanced off leaving only a big bruise. 
Another time a piece of shell must have just missed his 
leg, as it passed under his horse and hit his sword scabbard 
which was hanging to a frog in the saddle on the other side. 
On the third occasion he and three of his staff were standing 
near a battery, each of them about a yard apart, when the 
Turks fired two " bouquets," as they were termed by the 
soldiers, meaning battery volleys, which burst straight 
through them like a storm of gigantic hailstorms, yet not 
one of them were touched, though a walking-stick carried 
by one of the staff officers was knocked out of his hand and 
sent spinning. 

The photo of General Younghusband leaving a hospital 
ship looks as though his luck had deserted him and he was 
wounded, but he was really suffering from some sort of blood 
poisoning, from which he has not yet entirely recovered. 

The doctors have been much puzzled over the case, 
some think it was caused by a fly-borne poison off a dead 
Turk, there were many lying about, some having died from 


cholera, others from various diseases. A few of the 

Faculty " thought the mischief had been done by poison 
from a shell or bomb. This latter theory is rather supported 
by the fact that exactly the same symptoms were set up 
in the case of a man in the Tower of London who handled 
some pieces of a bomb the Germans dropped near the Tower. 

A friend who was in this Sannai3-at Battle with General 
Younghusband gives me a graphic account of its horrors. 
He describes how the troops had to wade through a perfect 
quagmire of slimy mud, while entirely exposed to a heavy 
fire from the Turks. It was found to be impossible to even 
reach the enemy trenches, for a vrhole division of men were 
flat on their faces in the mud floundering about unable to 
open or close the breeches of their rifles, owing to their being 
choked with mud. Those heroic souls tried to suck out the 
filth, but it was useless, and they were obliged to return as 
they had come without reaching their goal. 

It was becoming apparent that the relief of Kut was an 
impossibility. Meanwhile what of those in Kut ? General 
To\\Tishend's communiques to the troops are most pathetic 
reading. In January, 1916, he explained to them why he 
decided to make a stand at Kut diu^ing the retirement from 
Ctesiphon. He spoke of giving time for reinforcements to 
be brought up the river from Basra to " restore success to 
our arms," He tells the men, " all in India and England are 
watching us now and are proud of the splendid courage 
you have showTi." This was followed by another dated 
March loth, when he told the troops he had been disap- 
pointed of the expected relief, adding, " Hold on ! You will 
be proud one day to say, ' I was one of the garrison of Kut ! ' 
We have out-lasted Plevna and Ladysmith. Whatever 
happens now, we have all done our duty." 

It is easy to read between the lines and see Townshend 
knew all was over. 

A great consultation was now held by the authorities in a 
poisonous spot on the banks of the Tigris amidst heat, 
flies, cholera, and smells, as to what was to be done, every- 
thing had gone \vrong. After a lengthy discussion it was at 


last agreed that it was utterly impossible with the means 
and numbers at command to relieve General Townshend 
at Kut. 

One last desperate effort was made on the night of April 
29th to reach the starving in that city. The fastest boat on 
the river named the " Julnar," under the command of Lieut. 
Firman, who volunteered, made this effort. Quickly and 
quietly the boat was packed with provisions, and the valiant 
men on board wished God-speed, but luck was against her ; 
the news had somehov/ leaked out, and the Turks were in 
waiting for her and her crew. She was timed to arrive at 
Kut about midnight, and the besieged were expecting her, 
counting the moments and making excuses for her delay. 
At I o'clock a wireless message reached headquarters saying 
no " Julnar " had arrived and they were anxious, as heavy 
firing was plainly heard a little way down the river. 

The firing they heard was mostly directed at the unhappy 
boat "Julnar," which had run into a sand-bank while round- 
ing the Magasis peninsula, making a target for the Turks' 
guns Brave Firman in command was killed by a Turkish gun 
while giving instructions to the second in command how to 
" carry on." This officer's name was, I think, Cowley, or 
Coesley as far as I can remember, but he had no opportunity 
to carry on for he too was dead and the boat drifted and was 
knocked to pieces by the Turkish guns. Both these brave 
men were made posthumous V.C.'s., but what did that avail 
them ? That was the end ; the tragic and unhappy end of 
that phase of the Mesopotamian Campaign, and General 
Townshend surrendered to Major-General Khalil Pasha. 

The story of this time is not yet public property, perhaps 
it never will be, and it is all very pitiful, but we do know of 
General Townshend 's last communique to his troops when 
he had to tell them he had, while " overcome by illness and 
anguish of mind, to surrender to the Turkish Commander-in- 
Chief." Hard words for an Englishman to speak. 

I have heard some pleasant stories of the treatment of our 
soldiers by the Turks. When General Townshend made 
anxious enquiries as to what had become of some of his 


officers he was told they were in " excellent health and at the 
present moment dining with me ! " 

On the other hand, I have been told some very painful 
stories. General To\Mishend felt it very much when the 
rumours reached his ears that he had been careless and 
indifferent to the treatment of his men in captivity. This 
might have been true of one or two other Generals of whom 
I have been told, one, for instance, who, in Gallipoli, insisted 
on having fresh water baths every day when the men had 
not enough water to drink. 

Both officers and men have spoken bitterly to me of this, 
but Townshend was not a man of this sort, and he felt very 
keenly being kept in the dark about his men. It may not 
be known that he made three attempts to escape from the 
Turks but was unsuccessful each time, so he set to work to 
see what diplomacy could do, in the way of upsetting the 
Turkish Government . Rather risky work, and if he had been 
found out he would have been hung, shot, drawn and quar- 
tered or some such unpleasant experience. 

He was, however, fairly successful, if all I hear is true, 
for Enver Pasha's rule came into ill-odour and collapsed. 
When the new government was formed General Townshend s 
help was asked ; he agreed to give this if they would promise 
to set him free, open the Dardanelles to England, set free 
the British prisoners of war, and make certain promises 
concerning their Black Sea Fleet. All of these promises were 
quickly granted. 

General Townshend did not tell me this, but a friend of 
his did, so I presume it is correct. I know that if it was not 
considered against the public interest (which is such an 
ambiguous term) General Townshend could tell a great deal 
concerning the last days of Kut that would be of profound 
interest and most illuminating, but it must be remembered 
there were others in Kut as well as General Townshend 

I am always being told in connection with this time that, 
if this, that, and the other had been done, all would have 
been well. For instance, many times I have been told that 
if our troops had been massed instead of working in rotation, 


all would have been well. It is very easy to talk in our 
arm-chairs at home, but I doubt if anything different could 
have been accomplished with such inadequate transport, 
and mismanagement by those responsible in India. I am 
thankful the loss of all those valuable lives does not rest 
on my shoulders ; it would be a life-long nightmare. 

All these particulars may seem a long way from Stanley 
Maude, but in reality they were very near him, for he had 
to step into the middle of it all when in June or July, I forget 
which, he succeeded Sir G. F. Gorringe, following which, 
in August, he was selected as Commander-in-Chief in succes- 
sion to Sir Percy Lake. 

As I have already stated, the first few months after taking 
command were devoted by General Maude to improving the 
health and training of the troops who had suffered severely 
from heat and privations, to perfecting the precarious lines 
of communication, developing their resources, and collecting 
reserves of supplies, ammunition, and stores at the front. 

By this time the preparations made in India and on the 
lines of communication in Mesopotamia were commencing 
to bear fruit, and the situation as regards railway communi- 
cations, transport and supplies, both by land and water, 
though still far from satisfactory, was considerably improved. 

In October the new Commander-in-Chief in India, Sir 
Charles Monro, paid a visit of inspection and was able to 
judge for himself and discuss personally with the Army 
Commander the further necessities of the force. 

During this month General Maude inspected the Eu- 
phrates and Karun fronts before moving his headquarters 
up the Tigris, to command personally the operations on that 
front. The tactical situation had not altered very materially 
since the fall of Kut, our troops were still held up by the 
Sannaiyat position on the left bank. 

For two months after Maude arrived on the Tigris no 
active operations were possible owing to the necessity of 
establishing an efficient working reserve of supplies, am- 
munition and engineering materials at the advanced base 
(Sheikh Said), but while chafing and worrying at the delay 


imposed on him awaiting the completion of these necessary 
and vital arrangements, which lost him two of the best 
months of the year, he devoted himself to further training 
of the troops and entirely reorganised the transport service. 
No persuasion of his subordinates could make him start 
operations until in his opinion all the preparations were 

I do not think General Maude's great personality was ever 
fully realised until he became responsible locally for the 
Mesopotamian Campaign. He now had a comparatively 
free hand. His every action and every thought was for 
other people and the work entrusted to him. 

Most hearts would have quaked at what was before him, 
when one British Army had surrendered to the Turks, and 
another had been defeated in a series of attempts to relieve 
it, and every bazaar in the East was buzzing over our 
discomfiture, and we were all praying that some one might 
arise great enough to save our prestige. 

That someone came in the form of Stanley Maude, a 
deeply religious, self-reliant, strong man and a genius, that 
ineffable mystery like the Spirit of God that bloweth where 
it listeth. 

His amazing capacity for work and his self-reliance 
overshadowed all his other characteristics so completely 
that anyone who knew him always speaks with wonder of 
these qualities before all else. 

The General's working day ran much as follows ; every 
moment being carefully mapped out : 
5 a.m. — Get up. 

By 5.30 he generally awoke everybody in the immediate 
neighbourhood by his shouts for his shorthand writer 
and typist. It was a saying amongst the staff that 
he even used a shorthand wTiter and typist when 
writing to his wife ! 
7 a.m. — Breakfast. This meal he had with his Chief of 
Staff, General Money, who was considered, or who 
considered himself, a rapid eater, but was hopelessly 
left behind in the race through breakfast by General 


Maude who could put away two courses while his Chief 

of Staff was still busy with the first. Fifteen minutes 

almost invariably saw Maude outside his breakfast 

and away at work. By 7.40 the General's motor 

launch had to be ready and waiting, or his shouts 

would be equal to those at 5.30 for the shorthand 

writers. From this time to i o'clock he worked in 

his office tent. At first daily, and later, once or twice 

a week, he had a meeting of the heads of the staff and 

directors in one of the larger office tents. 

1-1.30. — Luncheon. Another race between Maude and 

the Chief of Staff to see who would be finished first ! 

1.30-3.30. — More office work. 

3-30-5- — A ride (at a rapid pace) round one or other 

of the camps, hospitals or depots. 
5 p.m. — ^Tea. 
5.15-7. — Work in office. 
7.30-8.30. — Dinner. 
8.30-9.30. — Work in office. 
9.30. — Bed. 

It had to be something of the utmost importance to keep 
him from going to bed at 9.30 every evening. Even during 
big operations he stuck to his rule and was only awakened 
if it was a matter of absolute necessity. His Chief of Staff, 
General Money, received all nocturnal communications which 
often entailed his getting up two or three times in the night. 

During active service these midnight communications 
may be, and probably are, important, but I remember 
staying once with a big official and his wife who often had 
these surprises at night ; at first I used to be greatly excited 
and think the Dutch had taken Holland or some such thing, 
but after a time or two I ceased to be excited when I found 
it only meant something had to be signed in connection 
with more timber for huts, changing the pattern of a button, 
or some such petty affair. But the galloping in the dead 
of night was no doubt very impressive, which politically 
counts for a good deal and also no doubt the big official and 
the galloper felt full of pride and importance. 


General Maude's afternoon outing was occasionally 
varied by a motor drive to enable him to visit some of 
the more distant camps and hospitals, though he always 
grudged the loss of his exercise and usually tried to combine 
such an expedition with a furious gallop across country 
for half an hour, by sending on his horses. This gallop was 
the only form of relaxation or amusement that he allowed 
himself and this he took regardless of all weather conditions, 
even when the temperature was 125° for a fortnight. His 
staff begged him to give it up, but he would not hear of it. 
During these rides he was accompanied by two perspiring 
A.D.C.'s who pursued him, up and down nullahs and over 
all sorts of abominable country. 

If, in the course of this performance, one of the A.D.C.'s 
kno\\Ti as the " fat boy " came to grief, as often happened. 
General Maude was so tickled that he ragged the " fat boy " 
about it at meals for several days. The " fat boy " was 
Captain Forbes of the Scottish Horse. How he remained 
a " fat boy " when taking these rides in the sun while other 
people were having sunstrokes in the shade must ever be a 
mystery, but perhaps he was not a " fat boy " at all. I 
cannot say, as I have not the pleasure of his acquaintance. 

I think these rides did General Maude harm rather than 
good, as he lost a considerable amount of weight, and 
latterly began to look very thin and careworn. 

Flies, which are one of the curses of the East, were in- 
tolerable in Mesopotamia. Arab villages are rather pesti- 
lential places ; the inhabitants' views on cleanliness, 
decency and sanitation do not coincide with ours. General 
Maude had considerable difficulty in enforcing cleanliness 
and order in Baghdad at first, but to get rid of the flies to any 
appreciable extent was impossible, they worried those who 
were well, tormented the sick, and drove the animals nearly 

Donkeys so often considered stupid have a very good idea 
of looking after themselves. In the photograph two are 
seen standing in the smoke rising from a burning heap of 
rubbish, with a view to driving the flies out of their coats, 


and this is, I know from experience, about the only way of 
getting rid of them, for a time. Mr, Edmund Candler vividly 
describes the terror of the fly plague in one of his despatches. 
" As I write," he says, " I cannot see the end of my pen ! " 

The meals in hospital for the sitting-up cases M^ere all 
served under netting or as many flies as food would have 
been eaten. 

The imperviousness of the natives to flies is astonishing 
and also rather annoying, they stand talking quite com- 
placently to you while flies stand thick and black round their 
eyes and faces as though they were perfectly unaware of 
their proximity. 

General Maude made every possible arrangement in- 
genuity could devise, to reduce the annoyance of these pests, 
and, as far as the wounded were concerned, more or less 

Soldiers are wonderfully ingenious people. I suppose 
when driven into corners they learn to be so, they seem 
to find a use for everything, even a German mine. I have 
a photo of one which with others they have converted into 
a buoy to mark out the course of the river. 

General Maude was very quick at everything, he ate 
quickly, he grasped details quickly in every department 
of staff work, his keenness in this direction was frequently 
the despair of the staff, who again and again found their 
best efforts to save him foiled. 

Few constitutions could have stood the amount of work 
he managed to get through under the trying conditions of 
two Mesopotamian hot weathers. He, nevertheless, appeared 
to be able to stand the strain and was never ill, with the 
exception in the summer of 1916, when he had an attack of 
jaundice, and although as yellow as a guinea and feeling 
deadly sick he would not go to bed but worked on un- 
ceasingly. Again in October of the same year he had an 
attack of fever which alarmed his staff, who thought he 
must indeed be very ill as he went to bed for two days, 
which was, for him, an unheard of thing. General Money went 
secretly to the doctor and arranged to have a launch with bed 


made up, to be ready on the third morning to take General 
IMaiide away from work and worry for a rest under medical 
care. When the launch and the doctor arrived the General 
was found fully dressed and hard at work with nothing but 
scorn for the suggested rest, so the launch went sadly down 
stream again. 

Headquarters of an army is a big affair ; some two hun- 
dred men were employed in General Maude's, but only 
about fifty officers composed the staff. I think he must 
have surprised some of them, especially the young A.D.C's., 
for he was a man who hated flattery or fulsomeness, and 
would have none of it. As this is usually considered part of 
their education it must have been upsetting. 

Probably no general officer ever conducted a campaign 
with less personal kit, in fact, there were few subalterns in 
the army with so little as their General. From the time he 
took command to the day of his death he only carried one 
quite small hunting kit-bag. Many officers start light but 
their kit grows as time goes on by things sent out to them 
from home, but General Maude's never grew in size. 

Some of his staff have declared to me they believed he 
only had one suit of clothes, for he was never seen in anything 
except the shabby old coat and breeches, while his old 
pair of Norwegian boots became familiar to the whole 

His tent, like his kit, was smaller than that of anyone 
else, and weighed 40 lbs., being no bigger than a very 
modest suburban dinner-table when in position, and the 
ground it rested on had to be dug out inside three feet deep 
to enable him to stand upright in it. 

Like most Guardsmen, General Maude was a strict 
disciplinarian, and any slackness amongst officers or men 
was at once dropped on, guards, escorts, orderlies were all 
kept up to the mark and never failed to elicit the surprised 
admiration of Russian officers when they visited Baghdad. 

General Maude had a staff of British orderlies which he 
trained to a high pitch of smartness on the model of the 
Coldstream Guards. 


There was always a queue of these orderlies outside his 
office. One was always ready to fly the moment he heard 
the cry of " orderly," then the next man took his place 
instantly so that when as often happened two or three 
were shouted for in as quick succession as the reports 
of a machine gun, they burst in without a moment's 
delay. This took some rehearsing, but they were almost 
perfect in the end. 

General Maude possessed the faculty of appreciating the 
exact value of time in relation to military operations, which 
was one of the secrets of Napoleon's success and which 
sounds easy and simple, but is so difficult. 

When the advance up the Tigris was taking place, General 
Maude directed General Marshall to cross the river with his 
men above Kut on a certain day. General Marshall re- 
hearsed the crossing and found his men rowed badly and 
needed further practice, so asked for a delay of forty-eight 
hours. This request was laid before General Maude and 
met with a most emphatic " No, tell him that he will cross 
on the day named without fail." 

Maude's self-reliance, to which I have already referred, 
was so great that even in his operations he never sought 
advice, he simply made his plans and announced them to 
his staff officers concerned. When one of them happened 
to disagree with any point in a plan and argued it with 
General Maude, he would listen attentively, occasionally 
a modification of the scheme would result, but more often 
he would tell the officer that he had listened with interest 
to all he had to say on the subject, but the plan would 
remain unaltered. 

He also had a very clear perception of his own abilities, 
their scope and limitations, and a great tenacity of purpose, 
nothing could divert his attention from the main issue. 
The hundred-and-one temptations that beset him to send 
troops here and there, on missions not directly connected 
with the main object of beating the Turkish Army, had no 
effect on him. The pleas of Indian political officers to have 
small bodies of troops sent to remote places to " establish 


influence " (that term beloved of diplomatists) was 

The modem army is so complex a machine that no single 
brain can control its every detail and I think General 
Maude's chief fault, if we may so term it, lay in his being too 
great a centralist. The impulse to have every thread in his 
own hands must have been almost irresistible. This seems 
inevitable in a man of such outstanding ability and untiring 
energy, but made it rather difficult for his staff. One of them 
told me he never could feel sure he could go ahead with his 
o\\Ti particular work without finding that Maude had cut in 
somewhere with some decision or alteration. One of the 
functions of a staff is to relieve the General-in- Com- 
mand of all details, and this is especially the duty of the 

General Money often had matters in hand which he 
purposely said nothing about to General Maude as he judged 
them to be essentially matters with which the Chief-of-the- 
Staff should deal without troubling his General, but occasion- 
ally Maude would hear of these matters and insist on plung- 
ing into them himself. 

Once a near relative of Maude's asked a brother Cold- 
streamer, " Tell me what is Joe's crab ? Everybody has a 
crab ; what is his ? " The answer came instantly, " They 
say he is too great a centraliser." 

I have heard complaints from some of the staff that 
General Maude had no lighter side of his nature, no sense 
of humour, or if he had, none of it was allowed to appear 
while in Mesopotamia. His absorption in his work was so 
entire that he resented even the interruption of meal times 
and during the meals was so absorbed mentally, and in such 
haste to get away, that it made the mess a very dull one. 
There was no chatting after dinner ; if anybody wanted a 
little light conversation or recreation, the A.D.C's. and others 
sought it in some of the other headquarter messes. 

The general verdict was that he was not popular with his 
staff, in his division, corps, or General Headquarters, but 
he was with the force at large who had no close and 


direct dealings with him : but no one could help admiring 

But against this, nearly every man that I have met and 
some that I have not, have spoken in the tenderest and 
highest terms of him. 

General Sir Julian Byng told me, " Maude was a very 
great friend of mine and I feel that nothing I could say would 
do him justice. . . ." 

General Sir Francis Davies of Elmley Castle, and lately 
at the War Office, knew Maude nearly all his life and speaks 
of him in the kindest way. They were at Eton together, 
went there on almost the same day and were together in the 
Brigade of Guards both at home and in war. They were 
in the 1885 Sudan Campaign and in South Africa. 

Colonel William Follett, late Colonel of the Coldstream 
Guards, speaking of General Maude says : " His history 
during the war of course is England's. ... I knew him 
well for more than thirty years and nothing to my mind 
shows his character better than what he wrote to an Eton 
Master shortly before his death : that he hoped his success 
would be dear to his old school and his old regiment, the 
Coldstream Guards." 

Mr. de Paravicini, who knows everybody, and everybody 
knows, was also with him at Eton and says, his " recollec- 
tions of him are what he has shown himself to be, namely, 
modest and absolutely thorough in everything he took up." 

General Kavanagh,D.S.O.,whowas withhimat Sandhurst, 
remembers he was " a very fine runner and a very nice boy, 
quiet and generally much liked. He had been in com- 
mand of the 14th Brigade in the 5th Division when in June, 
1915, I took command. I then heard a great deal about 
him. Everyone in the division was full of his praise. I 
then heard that the quiet boy I used to remember had 
developed into a very able soldier, full of energy and go : 
and everybody prophesied a great future before him if he 
ever got a chance. The sequel showed they were right." 

General Vesey Dawson, who was also with him at Eton 
and in the Guards, says he hardly likes to speak of General 


Maude. " He was so very superior to us all in his soldierlike 
qualities. ... I could write for hours of his good qualities, 
but fear my language could not convey all that I should like." 

General Stopford, commanding the Military College at 
Sandhurst, says, " In common with all those who were 
privileged to know him, I had the greatest admiration of 
his character and soldier-like qualities which his splendid 
achievements in IMesopotamia have shown to have been of 
an exceptionally high order." 

General the Hon. William Lambton, D.S.O., who was 
with him at Eton and in the Guards, knew him intimately 
all his life, and Field-Marshal Lord Methuen, wTiting to 
me from Malta a short time ago telling me of the splendid 
work done by the nurses in the hospital there, like- 
wise spoke of Sir Stanley Maude, saying, " General Sir 
Stanley Maude was my Brigade Major when I commanded 
the Brigade of Guards. The Guards never turned out a 
finer soldier or a more perfect English gentleman." 

Mr. Cameron Skinner tells me he was at Hawtreys at 
Slough with Sir Stanley, and, " oddly enough, his son and 
my two boys were at the same preparatory school : and for 
four years Maude and myself played cricket for fathers 
versus sons. He was a very quiet and modest man and a 
good all-round athlete. He distinguished himself in the 
athletic sports at Sandhurst versus Woolwich. He was a 
very earnest Churchman and church-warden of the church 
where he lived in Herefordshire, and he took a great interest 
in the Church Lads Brigade." 

General Sir William Robertson's appreciation of General 
Maude I have given elsewhere and it is charming. I could 
quote the kindly expressions of many more soldiers compe- 
tent to form an opinion, but not a few seem to have 
so much difficulty in stringing words together it is often 
kinder not to quote them, and I must return to General 
Maude's doings in Mesopotamia. 

At last the long wait was over and General Maude began 
his operations, which he summarises in his despatches of 
July loth, 1917, as follows : 


[a) Consolidation of our position on the Shalt-al-Hai. 
Dec. 13th — Jan. 14th. 

" (6) Operations in the Khadaire bend (E. and S.E. of 
Kut). Jan. 15th — 19th. 

" (c) Operations against the Hai saHent (round the 
junction of the Tigris and Hai). Jan. 20th — Feb. 5. 

" [d) Operations in the Dahra bend (W. and S.W. of Kut). 
Feb. 6th— i6th. 

[e) Capture of the Sannaiyat position and passage of 
the Tigris (at the Shumran bend west of the Dahra bend). 
Feb. 17th — 24th. 

" (/) Advance on Baghdad. Feb. 25th — March nth. 

" {g) Operations subsequent to the fall of Baghdad." 

All General Maude's operations subsequent to the capture 
of Baghdad were characterised by the same energy and 
keenness of military instinct which led to his first victorious 
advance, and no opportunity of dealing heavy blows to 
the enemy in detail, or of mopping up isolated detachments 
and anticipating their offensive was lost. 

No less keen was his care of the soldiers and his attention 
to all details that conduced to their personal comfort and 

When his quarters were at Baghdad some of the troops 
held a hockey match at a camp some seventy miles away 
at Samara. 

They were very anxious that General Maude should 
present the prizes, but it was pointed out to them that he was 
far too busy to spare time necessary for such a long journey ; 
but so anxious was General Maude not to disappoint the 
men that he solved the difficulty by flying over in an aero- 
plane, distributing the prizes and flying back, so that he 
was deep in office work again a couple of hours after he 
started, having covered one hundred and forty miles and 
pleased the troops immensely in that short time. It is 
not often that an Army Commander takes so much trouble 
over such a small matter. 

It was the same in all other matters of courtesy, or where 
small actions of his could give pleasure or comfort to others. 


He never failed to write to the parents or relatives of fallen 
officers and men in cases where he knew anything whatever 
of their record of service, although he was never free from 
the greatest pressure of work. 

One of the points that always struck me as charming in 
General Maude's despatches and reports was the way he 
acknowledged the work and endeavours of the officers and 
men under him ; speaking of the troops during the operations 
which led to the fall of Baghdad, he says, " As the conditions 
became more trying the spirits of the men seemed to rise," 
and he so generously acknowledged the help of General Sir 
W. K. Marshall, the man who succeeded him, and I think 
if he had been asked who he would like to follow him, he 
would have named General Marshall. 

It can easily be imagined how much there was that was 
painful to a man of General Maude's disposition, organising 
power and method. The grief it was to him that the arrange- 
ments were so inadequate for the wounded, for even as late 
as August, 1917, there were onlj^ two or three hospital ships 
properly equipped solely for hospital work. As long as there 
was a shortage of transport for conveyance of supplies up 
river it was obviously uneconomical to send ships up which, 
under the Geneva Convention, could carry nothing except 
medical personnel and stores, to return with wounded. 

What was done was to equip all the larger ships with 
medical staffs, including nursing sisters, stretchers, cots 
and medical appliances, send them up river loaded with 
stores, and then on the return journey hand them over to 
the medical staff for conveyance of sick and wounded. Any 
of the larger boats with two barges alongside could thus carry 
about four hundred wounded and sick. 

But matters had improved in the way of care of the 
wounded since those terrible 1915 days when after the 
first battle of Kut and Ctesiphon over three thousand five 
hundred wounded had to be removed from the battlefield 
to the river banks, in some cases a distance of ten miles, 
without proper ambulance transport, many having to make 
their way back as best they could, on foot, in spite of terrible 


injuries, and when they arrived at the river, bad luck still 
attended them, as there was found to be no proper steamer 
accommodation and all had to be crammed into barges minus 
medical attention, comforts or necessities. 

The Medical Authorities at Basra had calculated on five 
hundred wounded at the most and prepared only for that 

What is even more painful is the attitude of those re- 
sponsible for this deplorable state of things. When General 
Nixon telegraphed to Medical Headquarters, saying, " I see 
no possible excuse for what I am forced to look on, as the 
most indifferent work done in the collection of the wounded," 
and when Major Carter, R.A.M.C, complained of the dis- 
graceful state in which the wounded arrived at Basra, 
all that these men got for their humanity was to be hauled 
over the coals for meddling in what was not their business, 
or some such monstrous statement ; and both got themselves 
much disliked over doing what they considered to be their 

What those unfortunate wounded suffered cannot be 
dwelt upon, it is too indescribably horrible, almost incredibly 
horrible. Two instances will be enough to illustrate my 
meaning. One man with a fractured thigh perforated in 
five or six places had in his agony been writhing about the 
ship without even a bandage on his wounds and without 
morphia or any blessed pain-killer. Another, and not only 
one, was propped up with cushions formed by the dead 
bodies of their comrades. 

How maddening it must have been to the Generals during 
those critical days of fighting to know that large numbers 
of troops and many badly needed guns were at Basra quite 
unable for lack of transport to be conveyed in time to take 
part in the fighting. Who can help pitying Generals who 
have to fight with their hands so tied. There is at all 
times a desperate amount of luck attending great military 
manoeuvres, but in the early part of the Mesopotamian 
Campaign no unfortunate General seemed to have the ghost 
of a chance. 


The Military Authorities in their report on the Mesopo- 
tamia muddle and treatment of the wounded agreed that : 
" There are two methods of concealing a failure. The first 
is to suppress all mention of it, the second is to obscure its 
significance by the glare of a contemporaneous achievement. 
The first was used at the first battle of Kut. The second 
after the battle of Ctesiphon when the military success of 
withdrawing all the wounded in the face of a pursuing 
enemy diverted attention from the grave medical defects 
which were disclosed during the course of that operation." 

This seems to sum up the situation fairly accurately. 

But the coming of Stanley Maude altered all this. No 
incompetence was possible where he reigned and he had the 
happiness of re-establishing the British name in the East, 
and it has not looked back since. General Maude's tactics 
and strategy in the capture of Baghdad stands out as one 
of the finest military achievements of the great war, and I 
should like, and so would many others, to see General 
Maude's son made a baronet and of Baghdad, to commemo- 
rate both the name of Maude and an historic achievement. 

While the world was still talking of Maude's great military 
achievements and the King's recognition of his services in 
making him a knight, there came the news which took away 
our breath, of his illness and sudden death. He was only 
taken ill on Friday, November i6th, and died on Sunday, 
the i8th, 1917. It was a national calamity, for while ruling 
firmly over his newly conquered territory, his tact and 
kindness was rapidly gaining the confidence of the conquered. 

I find few know of the crowning act of heroism that led 
to his death, for he verily signed his own death warrant. 
His natural sympathy with a suspicious people over whom 
he ruled led him to visit a plague-stricken spot at the in- 
vitation of the inhabitants. They were anxious to do honour 
to him who had shown them much kindness — unexpected 
kindness — and released them from generations of bondage. 
Their hospitality led them to offer the General food and 
drink. He had given strict orders that none of his escort 
were to touch either food or drink in any form, knowing well 


the danger, but for himself he took the risk, rather than hurt 
the feehngs of those entertaining him. 

That gentle tact which we like to associate in our minds 
with those who are gently born, that dislike of hurting 
people's feelings, was essentially his, and the last thing he 
ever thought of was self. When the Arab priests wished 
him to perform or take part in some holy rite and drink a 
glass of water with them, he complied, with the result we 
already know, he was seized with cholera on the Friday and 
died the following Sunday. He had become so worn out 
with all the anxieties he had passed through and by the 
very little care he took of himself that he had no strength 
to fight the disease. He was a deeply religious man and 
death had no horrors for him ; he did not fear or dread it 
at all. 

Every Sunday morning while on active service he attended 
the Communion Service at 6 a.m., held at that early hour 
so that it should not interfere with his duties during the day. 
His was that beautiful religion that is born in trust, lives in 
hope and dies in love. 

He Hes in the British cemetery in Baghdad, surrounded 
by the men who fell obeying his orders, and contributing to 
his fame. A wooden cross marks his grave. 

Great plans had been formed in Sir Stanley's mind regard- 
ing the future of Mesopotamia ; he hoped that the reopening 
of the plains which should prove one of the greatest commer- 
cial gains to the world through the war, would provide 
happy and useful occupation for ex-soldiers after hostilities 
ceased. He hoped and believed that the Government would 
assist them in the first place, with small grants and the loan 
of the necessary machinery to begin farming, to be paid off 
by degrees after five years, or perhaps less, when the neces- 
sary irrigation and other methods of assisting farming in 
that land, had been carried out. 

Anyone who has travelled in that country for sport, 
pleasure or of necessity knows what extraordinary fertile 
soil is found there ; with proper irrigation as many as three 
crops may be grown and garnered in one year and with a 


minimum of labour. I have many times said it is only 
necessary to throw some seed in the ground, tread on it, 
give it some water and the obliging seed does the rest for 

Irrigation which is a costly matter in some countries 
would afford comparatively little expense and labour in 
Mesopotamia, for the floods from the Tigris and Euphrates 
could easily be made to supply all that would be wanted. 
General Maude knew and I know how quickly things grow 
out there and it has been proved by the produce of the dairy 
farm the army laid out in 1916. To-day, milk, vegetables, 
eggs, etc., are plentiful, and there is a good market for them. 
Fast steamers now run regularly on the rivers. Sir Stanley 
allowed the climate would be,' and is, trying to English 
people, but so are the climates of other countries which we 
embrace and say nothing of, or perhaps very little, and he 
considered the extreme heat might be mitigated by making 

Germany of course knew the value of the country for 
commercial as well as for military reasons, and that was 
why they put dov^ai the famous Baghdad railway, which now 
reaches Basra on the south and goes some distance beyond 
Samara, or Samarrah. 

A memorial is being subscribed to in Mesopotamia ; when 
last I heard from Basra nothing had been decided as to how 
the funds should be expended so as to perpetuate the memory 
of the Avenger of Kut. There have been many suggestions 
as to the form the memorial should take, one being that 
a memorial gate should be erected at the north end of the 
city of Baghdad. At Basra, where 107,000 rupees were sub- 
scribed, on the opening of the list, the local people, amongst 
whom are many wealthy merchants, expressed the wish 
that a civil hospital should be built and that if this was 
agreed to they would add fifty per cent to the amount 
already subscribed by Basra. The hospital plan has met 
with many influential people's approval. The sheikh of 
Mohammerah has sent 10,000 rupees, while four local Arab 
sheikhs at Amara have given 29,000 rupees on top of the 


subscription of 30,000 rupees subscribed by that small 
town the first day the subscription was opened. This is only 
the civilian memorial, the soldiers' memorial is entirely 
separate, and that also has not been decided yet. 

I do hope that whatever is finally agreed upon, in both 
cases, will be something useful, that will benefit humanity. 
I think a hospital, or a training college for ex-soldiers, to 
learn farming suitable to the country, in some suitable 
and chosen spot, would have been the two plans that would 
have appealed the most strongly to Maude himself. Neither 
city gates nor monuments would have been pleasing to him. 

Stanley Maude's last despatch was written on October 
15th, 1917, a very short time before his fatal illness. Every 
word of it is interesting, but too lengthy to quote verbatim 
here. It deals with the operations in Mesopotamia from 
April 1st to September 30th after the capture of Baghdad 
and concerns his provisions for the security of that city. 
Every word is well chosen and the character of the soldier 
writing it breathes in every line. He had the forethought 
of Lord Roberts and the unalterable determination and 
calculation of Kitchener, to which was added his own 
characteristic precision in detail and quickness in carrying 
out designs he had weighed and approved. 

It will be remembered that Kut had been retaken on 
February 24th, and General Maude pursued the fleeing 
Turks after three days' battle capturing Baghdad on March 

On September 28th, 1917, he defeated the Turks at 
Ramadie on the Euphrates, surrounding them and taking 
3550 prisoners including the Turkish Commander, Ahmed 
Bey, his staff and about thirteen guns. 

Describing the operations from April 2nd when he had 
joined hands with General Baratoff near Kizil Robat he 
explains that the movements on both banks of the Tigris 
which had for a time been suspended were now resumed, 
and on April 6th he ordered our cavalry forward, to near 
Deli Abbas, with instructions to cover our right flank and 
draw on gradually any movement initiated by the 13th 


Turkish Corps towards the Tigris. On the left of the river 
he decided not to commit our troops to any definite action 
until the intentions of the Turks became clear. On the 
right bank of the Tigris the enemy's force was estimated at 
4000 rifles with 200 sabres and 16 guns and these were hold- 
ing Harbe with advanced troops about Beled Station. On 
the 8th our troops moved forward to attack the enemy's 
position covering Beled Station, and good progress was made 
until they came under close machine-gun and rifle fire from 
some rising ground in the immediate neighbourhood. The 
51st Sikhs were ordered to secure this point, and, making 
good use of the broken ground and being well supported 
by artillery, they established themselves there without 
much difficulty and pressed forward beyond. Finding the 
position untenable the enemy retreated. Our losses were 
slight, but the enemy in addition to his battle casualties 
lost 200 prisoners, including nine officers, three machine- 
guns and some rolling stock. Harbe was occupied on the 

On the left bank of the river our troops were busy. The 
2nd and 14th Turkish Divisions, some 6000 rifles strong, with 
250 sabres and 32 guns, were moving down the banks of the 
Nahr Khalis Canal. Our cavalry were ordered to fall back 
and €ntice them on while our artillery inflicted substantial 
casualties on their marching columns. 

Describing in technical language the movements of the 
enemy. General IMaude explains his method of frustrating 
them. After a night march, two Welsh battalions and the 
Wiltshires completely surprised the enemy, and before they 
had time to recover themselves had suffered heavy casualties 
from our well-handled artillery and rifle fire. 

The Turks were fighting a stubborn rearguard action 
throughout the 13th and 14th and our progress was slow. 
During the night of the 14th and 15th the enemy continued 
his retreat on Kipri, and on the 15th our pursuit was stopped. 
Over 300 of the enemy's dead were buried, one gun and 
eighty prisoners captured by us. 

The 13th Turkish Corps being temporarily disposed of, it 


was decided to deal with the detachment of the i8th Turkish 
Corps still holding the passage of the Shatt El Adhaim. 
Early in the morning of the i8th the operations of forcing 
this passage were commenced by our troops ; by 6.30 
they were sufficiently established on the right bank to 
allow of a bridge being thrown across the river. The channel 
was narrow and full of quicksand, which caused delay, but 
at 11.40 the bridge was completed and by 2 p.m. our infantry 
had cleared the loop of the river and were moving towards 
the Barura peninsula. The Turkish opposition had collapsed, 
prisoners were coming in and a composite cavalry brigade 
moved forward in pursuit. 

General Maude's own words in regard to this juncture 
were : " This brigade skilfully handled pushed on resolutely, 
and in spite of heat and want of water succeeded in turning 
the enemy's retreat into a rout. His casualties in killed 
and wounded were heavy and 1300 prisoners — of which 
twenty-six were officers, and six machine-guns were cap- 
tured. Indeed, only a small fraction of the troops opposed 
to us that day effected their escape. In this action an 
Indian cavalry regiment, the Horse and Field Artillery 
Batteries, and four Lancashire battalions, especially dis- 
tinguished themselves. ..." 

" The enemy's opposition on the left bank having been 
completely destroyed a further advance was now ordered 
on the right bank. The Turks were holding a strong position 
about Istabulat facing south-east with their left resting 
on the river and extending over a frontage of about 2f miles 
across the Dujail Canal to the Baghdad-Samarrah 

"The position was a strong one and was held by some 
6700 rifles, with 200 sabres and 31 guns, while in the vicinity 
of Samarrah were reserves consisting of some 4000 rifles, 
with 500 sabres and 15 guns. At 5 a.m. on the 21st his posi- 
tion on the north side of the canal was resolutely attacked 
by the Black Watch and 8th Gurkhas under a creeping 
barrage, and both battalions made steady progress. In 
spite of a hot rifle and machine-gun fire from the main 


position the redoubt near the river was captured and the 
garrison made prisoners. The other redoubt on this side 
of the canal was assaulted, recaptured by the enemy, and 
finally secured by us, thus giving our troops a good foothold 
in this part of the enemy's defences. At 6.30 a.m. an attack 
by the Seaforths and 28th and 92nd Punjabs was launched 
south of the canal. This advance was carried out with 
fine dash and gallantry across 2000 yards of ground devoid 
of cover, and by 7.25 a.m. the enemy's front line some 700 
yards long was in our hands. Consolidation proceeded and in 
spite of several counter-attacks all gains were held. 

' ' On the 22nd our troops moved forward at daybreak and 
were in contact with the enemy's main body in the vicinity 
of Istabulat Police Post by noon, where his defensive system 
consisted of detached groups of trenches partially completed. 
The heat was great and the attack was postponed till the 
evening. The assault aided by concentrated artillery fire 
was delivered in dashing style by the Leicesters, supported 
by the 51st Sikhs and 56th Rifles, and the defence was 
easily penetrated. The attacking troops pressed on relent- 
lessly and rapidly some 1200 yards further, and the enemy's 
guns were only withdrawn just in time to avoid capture. 

" Our captures of the 21st and 22nd amounted to 20 officers 
and 667 other ranks taken prisoners, 14 Krupp guns, one 
5.9 gun damaged, two machine-guns, 16 engines and 240 
trucks, two barges, many rifles and much ammunition and 
equipment. At 10 a.m. on the 23rd Samarrah Station was 
secured, the enemy offering no further resistance, and on the 
24th Samarrah town on the left bank was occupied and a 
post established there." 

Sir Stanley Maude then continues describing a gallant 
attack delivered against the enemy on the left bank of the 
Tigris by several Lancashire battalions resulting in 100 
Tiu-ks buried and 150 made prisoners. He further describes 
the Cheshires and South Wales Borderers attacking bril- 
liantly over a thousand yards of level plain, yet immediately 
successful ; 214 dead were buried, 365 prisoners, guns, 
equipment and all kinds of ammunition. He speaks most 


highly of the Buffs, who especially distinguished themselves 
on several occasions, adding : 

" Fighting in the heat and the constant dust storms 
imposed a severe strain on the troops and the absence of 
water tested their stamina very highly, but as the conditions 
became more trying the spirit of the men seemed to rise, and 
they maintained the same high spirit of discipline, gallantry 
in action and endurance which had been so noticeable 
throughout the army during the operations which led up 
to the fall of Baghdad." 

It was while the Cheshires' and South Wales Borderers' 
brilliant attack was in process, that two companies which 
had lost all their officers advanced too far in pursuit ; they 
certainly captured two batteries, some machine-guns and 
many prisoners, but while still cut off from the remainder 
of the forces they were counter-attacked ; a gallant hand- 
to-hand fight followed ; but few have lived to tell the tale. 

The Turks did not seem to be discommoded by the dust 
storms as our troops were, but there they were on ground 
of which they knew every inch. Of course these details 
could not enter into an official report. 

It has always struck me as curious that while the Turks 
avowedly admired Sir Stanley Maude and his measures, 
they did not realise the conceptions of his brain. I have had 
it from very reliable authority that they never for a moment 
thought that he could be successful in crushing them ; yet 
bit by bit, yard by yard, he did it. But never would he 
allow that the success was due to his own initiative, and he 
was not one of the men who pooh-pooh congratulations with 
a view to his place in the picture ; he really was embarrassed 
when his genius was praised and he was congratulated on 
his success. He used to say in quite an injured tone, " Don't 
congratulate me, it was the men who did it." 

There never was a man who felt more uncomfortable in 
borrowed plumes. Yet he might well have accepted his 
share, for he had thought out every detail, the movement 
of the troops, and how each battalion should be handled, 
but he gave the whole credit to his subordinates ; he would 


not allow that his heart and brain had brought about our 
success ; still I doubt if in the whole history of this great 
war any one man has brought off such a series of victories 
off his own bat, so to speak. 

His success is the more wonderful when we remember 
the troops he commanded had met with nothing but reverse 
and he had to inspire a dispirited band. Yet those who were 
the most closely associated with him out in Mesopotamia 
tell me there was a calm encouraging certainty about him 
that he was going to give the Turks a lesson, which did in 
a great measure inspire the men. General Maude made a 
point, and it was one much appreciated by all grades, of 
presenting medal ribbons to those who had distinguished 
themselves directly an action was over. I have so often felt 
that the delay that is so general robs the recipient of much 
of the thrill and glory of the moment. Besides which many 
know there is little chance of living to see the looked-for- 
ward-to moment, the recognition of their services. 

Only those who have experienced 122 degrees of moist heat 
can form any idea of the conditions many of these brave men 
fought in, laden \nth accoutrements, and only those who 
have had lengthy spells of time in the Far East know the 
depressing feeling of being forgotten, and the desolation that 
is at times overpowering, and well those soldiers, both officers 
and men, knew how little chance there was of seeing home 
again. Home, that blessed word which means so much to 
us all, where our ideals were bom and where many of them 
lie buried. 

One of those who were with General Maude after the 
occupation of Baghdad has given to me an account of the 
florid proclamation he had to deUver to the occupants of 
that city as well as to the conquered generally. No child 
could have been deceived into beheving it emanated from 
himself. It was most unHke him in diction, and also in 
feeling on several points. It really was manufactured in 
Whitehall or its immediate neighbourhood. 

Amongst other things the General had to explain, was our 
love for the Arabs, disapproval of the Turks, hopes in the 


future, taking care to avoid details, no policy having been 
really decided upon. 

In his heart General Maude did not care for eulogising 
the Arabs, he had no warm corner for them, and he did 
admire the Turks, their fighting qualities appealed to him, 
though he recognised the inadvisability of their rule. He 
was more at home when advising those he was addressing 
to come forward and assist in managing their own affairs. 

Stanley Maude had a dislike to an3^hing in the nature 
of playing to the gallery, and he felt in a measure he was in 
this position when delivering the proclamation which had 
been created some time in advance and sent out from home 
by someone who had well looked up his biblical history. But 
it was soon over and he was a sportsman as well as a soldier. 

It is the sportsmen who do great deeds. I wish more of 
them had survived to people this world with little chips 
from the old block, and fewer conscientious objectors. 

Sir Stanley Maude was a sportsman all the time, in his 
play, in his work, in his death. He was the Maude who at 
Eton in 1882 was reserve man for the eight, which, captained 
by F. E. Churchill, brought back to Eton from Henley the 
Ladies' Plate, which had not been won by the school for 
twelve years. He also rowed " 3 " in the final of House 
Fours, which race his crew won from Mr. Carter's House by 
only a foot . In 1881 he won the steeplechase, and the follow- 
ing year* the mile." He was also whip to the Beagles in 1882. 

Later at Sandhurst he won three races in one day, the 
half-mile, mile, and the three miles, against Woolwich. 

As he grew older his companions used to chaff him about 
his passion for exercise ; he used to reply he liked to keep 
himself fit for action, he might be wanted some day. He 
was amongst the few who foresaw the war when the majority 
said it was a case of the Russian scare all over again, simply 
" Wolf — ^w^olf" when no wolf came. 

It was a sportsman that wrote the following letter to an 
old army colleague whom I know, who has given me per- 
mission to use it, having been written by Sir Stanley Maude 
in answer to one of congratulations ; 


General Headquarters, 
Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, 

January 22nd, 1917. 
My Dear — 

Many thanks for your letter dated the gth ult., and 
for the good wishes tliat it contained. I can assure you that 
I appreciate them very greatly, more especially so coming 
as they do from one whom I have had the honour of serving 
under in the field. 

I cannot help feeling, however, that you rate any services 
I may have rendered too highly, for I think that any measure 
of success I may have gained during the war has been due 
almost entirely to those men I have had the good fortune 
to command. 

We have had a very strenuous time out here. Our long 
line of communications by water, with, at first, inadequate 
river craft, the absence of roads and railways, the lack of 
water except at the rivers, the great shortage of local supplies 
and the long time which it necessarily takes for our stores 
and supplies to reach us, all make it an intensely complicated 
problem. But it is at the same time an absorbingly interest- 
ing one and I live every minute of it. 

When I first took over command I devoted three months 
to organisation and developing our resources and that done 
I moved my headquarters up to the front. In the middle 
of December, having accumulated a sufficiency of supplies, 
we were well forward to warrant a movement. 

Everyone is cheery and in good spirits, and the men get 
good food and plenty of it. The transport and supply 
arrangements are working magnificently, and with everyone 
pulling together like one man we are bound to make progress. 
In fact, it is indeed a privilege to command forces full of 
such willing, obedient and gallant soldiers. 

Will you please forgive these very hurried lines, but 1 am 
very busy ? 

Yours sincerely, 

F. S. Maude. 


Another letter dated October 14th, 1917, which was 
received by Mr. E. L. Vaughan of Eton College, says : 

It was a stern and severe struggle during last winter, 
but thanks to the magnificent qualities of all ranks in this 
army we succeeded in dealing the Turks a stunning 

" Two thoughts were uppermost in my mind throughout, 
one that the old regiment (Coldstream Guards) would 
be proud and the other that the old school would be 

There is not much first person singular about these 
documents or much bombast. He was a very gentle con- 
queror, and an appreciative commander. Essentially one 
of those men who advise and administer other people's 
business brilliantly while greatly neglecting their own ; for 
surely a man of his concentration, genius and adaptability 
should have been able to make fortunes for himself. Yet he 
lived and died a comparatively poor man ; his will made me 
sad ; though we are not in the habit of expecting soldiers 
to leave much wealth. He left his medals, decorations, 
trophies, diaries, silver cup and the gold cigarette case 
given to him by King George to his son, to be treated as 
heirlooms or, at his discretion, to be given to the Buffs or 
Coldstream Guards. He also left to his son. General Sir 
F. F. Maude's (Sir Stanley's father) Victoria Cross, medals, 
orders and decorations, trophies of the Crimean and 
Indian Campaigns, his swords and " Thanks of both 

At the end of his will comes this tender message, " I hope 
my children will help, love and protect their mother, and 
befriend each other." 

The memorial service held in St. Paul's Cathedral in 
memory of Lieutenant -General Sir Stanley Maude, K.C.B., 
C.M.G., D.S.O., was impressive as most military funerals 
are, but there was an extra pathos about this gathering, for 
all present had come to do honour and show respect for 
what ? — Not a dear old time-expired General who had done 
great deeds and lived to reap his rewards, and bask in the 


sunshine of the world's approval, yet who might be glad to 
lay aside the mask and mantle of this world, having out- 
lived all his comrades — ^but this was different — oh, so 
different, for a young man — a man in the prime of his life — 
was mourned — who had used all the talents with which he 
had been blessed to see through a great trust that had been 
placed in his hands, who had succeeded almost beyond what 
was hoped for, a man who had suddenly found himself, 
had earned the gratitude of his country, who had been count- 
ing the days until he felt he could honourably, and unsel- 
fishly, seek a rest, and return to his home to see in the eyes 
of those dear to him their pride and pleasure, tears of happi- 
ness and thanksgiving, that their man had done this thing, 
and had returned safely to them. But he had been called 
away at the moment when his cup was full to the brim 
with unmeasured happiness, and humanly speaking his 
own hand dashed away that cup. No orders had been issued 
obliging him to visit a plague-stricken area to greet Arabs 
anxious to meet him — no orders obliged his drinking from 
the cup that might and probably would spell death ; 
he had forbidden any of his men to touch either food 
or drink. 

An Arab paper speaking of the General after his death 
said, " He died a victim to the inbred courtesy of a fine 
character." No words of mine can better that. 

Under the dome of St. Paul's special places had been 
reserved for ticket -holders and a detachment of Coldstream 
Guards with, of course, their band. Lady Maude, the widow, 
who is an invalid, chose the music, and she was at the service, 
hidden away in a quiet corner with her grief. 

In the centre under the dome. General Sir William 
Robertson, Chief of the Imperial Staff, present on behalf 
of the King, Colonel Sir Henry Streat field, Private Secre- 
tary, representing Queen Alexandra, Captain Liddell for 
Princess Christian, and Colonel Kernon Chato for Princess 
Louise, Duchess of Argyll. The Duke of Connaught, senior 
Colonel of the Brigade of Guards, occupied the chief seat 
under the dome, and the cathedral was packed with well- 


known people, all of whom came because they cared — and so 
amid the ghosts of many mighty dead the De profundis 
was sung and many prayers were breathed, that Time, 
merciful Time, might bring comfort to those who had loved 

In a measure I am glad Sir Stanley Maude died when he 
did, while still basking in the sunshine of popularity, and 
before any of the happiness and glory of his achievements 
could be wTested from him. It is so painful when we see 
brave men who have been patted on the back and congratu- 
lated in the morning thrown from their pedestals in the 
evening, to suffer in all probability for no fault of their 

During the funeral at Baghdad an enemy aeroplane was 
over the city and amidst the din of anti-aircraft guns the 
soldier was buried. A day or two later a Turkish aeroplane 
flew low down over the British Residency and dropped a 
message of sympathy and made away again swiftly and 
safely. A touching tribute to a gallant soldier from a gallant 

A memorial is being subscribed to in Baghdad and it is 
suggested that it shall take the form of a home of rest for 
tired fighting men where they can recoup their strength, 
preference being given to those who fought in Mesopo- 

When I think of all the mothers' sons that have been 
sacrificed in this war those lines of Stella Benson's come 
back to me : 

Come home, come home, you million ghosts, 

The honest years shall make amends. 

The sun and moon shall be your hosts. 

The everlasting hills your friends. 

And some shall seek their mothers' faces. 

And some shall run to trysting-places. 

And some to town, and others 5'et 

Shall find great forests in their debt. 

Oh ! I would seize the golden waste 

Of space, and climb high heaven's dome. 

So I might see those million ghosts come home. 





I Hyde Park Gardens, W. 2. 

i^th May, 1919. 
Dear Mrs, Stuart Menzies, 

Your little note of April 29th, teUing me you are going 
to \^Tite something about my old friend, Sir Stanley Maude, 
and asking me if I can help you by sending you a few 
appreciative words. First, let me tell you how interested 
I am to hear you are going to say something about that 
remarkable soldier, who has added rich provinces to our 
Empire and even richer traditions to our military annals. 
I say I am glad you are \\Titing this because I know you are 
appreciative of the forward and gallant qualities in a soldier. 
They are rarer than is thought, but Maude possessed them 
in the highest degree. As to putting my own views on paper 
for you, if you think anything I can say can add to the laurels 
of a triumphant soldier like Maude, my tribute is very much 
at your service. 

Maude arrived at the Dardanelles on the 23rd August, 
and I saw him and had a long talk with him on that day. 
He was an old friend and service comrade of mine, and I was 
glad indeed to see him at a moment when things were not 
quite couleiir de rose. I gave him command of the 13th 
Division, which had lost very heavily in the fighting during 
the earlier part of the month. As it had not received any rein- 
forcements worth speaking of, and had, also, lost its esteemed 
commander. General Shaw, who had been invalided home, 
the division was rather down in its luck. In a very short 
time Maude had worked up the spirits of his men and imbued 
them with his own ardour. In my diary under the date of 
3rd September, 1915 (i.e. only eleven days after Maude's 
arrival), I wTote, ' The only General I struck to-day whose 
mind seems to go beyond the needs of the moment is Maude. 
He is straining at the leash to have a cut in at the Turks 


somehow or other, and somewhere or other as quick as he 
can.' From first to last Maude was a thick and thin sup- 
porter of the Dardanelles idea. He was convinced that if we 
could only get our depleted ranks filled and a fair amount 
of ammunition according to standards then prevaihng in 
France, we could drive the Turks back far enough to let 
the Fleet go through. Further, it was his firm conviction, 
that even if we did not get this amount of assistance, and 
were not able to drive the Turks back, still, by merely holding 
oni we could bleed the Turkish Empire to death. 

When the evacuation was decided on he was very much 
distressed, believing a fatal mistake had been made and that 
a great prolongation of the war must ensue, especially by 
the freeing of large bodies of Turkish troops to move against 
us in Mesopotamia and against the Russians in the Caucasus. 

At the actual evacuation Maude had to carry out the 
disembarkation from Gully Beach, which was on the western 
coast of the southern, or Helles, area. General Sir Herbert 
Lawrence was commanding the rearguard and embarked 
from ' W ' Beach at the toe of the Peninsula. The storm 
which suddenly came on made Gully Beach impracticable, 
so Maude had to trek down to ' W ' Beach and embark 
there. He was about the last man off on the whole Penin- 
sula and did much to keep everyone cool and steady, refusing 
for one thing on any terms to part with a huge valise he 
was carrying. In consequence some amusing verses were 
written as a parody on ' Come into the garden, Maud,' 
where the troops are supposed to be bewailing his reluctance 
to leave enemy soil. 

I have not in this letter touched on Maude's personal side, 
but no doubt you will get that from other sources. He was 
a charming and a chivalrous character. During his life he 
possessed a multitude of friends, and he died where he would 
have chosen to die — at the head of an army that adored him. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Ian Hamilton. 


A tragedy in the hills — My ayah is communicative — A lonely invalid 
— A lady without a name — An embarrassing situation — Red tape 
amongst the doctors — The chaplain finds it very awkward — A 
bundle of flannel — A pitiful letter — Last words — Two English 
pennies — Author interviews a stranger — The reason of it all — 
Happenings of political importance — The Afghan Boundary 
Commission — Future possibilities — Railway lines of consequence 
— A prophecy fulfilled — German intrigues in Afghanistan — Un- 
interned Germans — A German mission to Afghanistan — An 
awkward moment for the Amir — Electric light at Kabul — 
Lord Kitchener and the Amir's cars — Beware of German 
missionaries — Germany's interest in Persia — Why the com- 
mission was necessary — Sir Donald Stewart gives his orders — 
Searching for water — Members of the commission — An incon- 
venient route — The Amir perturbed — Some pig-sticking- — The 
British meet wth a rebuff — A jumping-ofi ground for Russia — 
Colonel Ridge way at Pandjeh — An agreement broken — The 
Russians under General Komaroff — " A regrettable incident " 
— Sir Peter Lumsden's mistaken policy — The commission feels 

FROM Mesopotamia my mind has travelled on to 
India, where I once got mixed up in a very tragic 
and strange affair in a hill station. The husband 
in the story I am about to tell is alive to-day and hold- 
ing high office ; I hope he will see this chapter and feel 

When I was going to bed one night my ayah was full of 
conversation as she brushed my hair ; amongst the things 
she imparted to me was the news that an English mem- 
sahib was very iU in a bungalow near the Bazaar, all alone, 
and a baby had been born, there was nobody with the lady 
but an old ayah and a bearer who had come up to the hills 
with her, and they were very queer people — would not go 
into the Bazaar to smoke and chat in a friendly way, but 
always stayed at the bungalow. 

She, Munie, had passed on the way to find out why the 



dhobie had not brought the washing home, and talked 
to the strange ayah who told her all about the sick 

I dismissed the ayah, and tried to woo sleep, but being one 
of those people who indulge in the dangerous and unhappy 
prerogative of thinking, to which sleep strongly objects, 
the dusty miller refused to be wooed. I kept thinking of 
the poor lonely woman in the bungalow near and all alone 
Why should she haunt me ? It was not an unusual thing 
for an Englishwoman to come up to the hills in search of 
health, or to have her baby. Perhaps I was impressed by 
the ayah's story and the strangely beautiful stillness of the 
hour — or was it that sternly silent moon looking coldly in at 
me through the verandah, teUing me another soul hard by 
was weathering the storm all alone, in need of help and sym- 
pathy ? Should I go in the morning and see if she wanted 
anything ? Ask her name, and see if I could do anything 
for her ? Supposing the ayah had exaggerated, and I was 
told politely to mind my own business ? Well, what of that ? 
I should have the satisfaction of knowing either that she had 
all she wanted, or that I could be of some use. Yes, I would 
certainly go and ask in the morning. Then a little of Seneca's 
philosophy descended on me as I remembered, " he grieves 
more than is necessary who grieves before it is necessary," 
and fell asleep. 

Next morning after riding up a precipitous path, the 
bungalow described by my ayah came in view ; it looked 
very deserted — not a sign of life anywhere. My sais (groom) 
called " Qui hie," the usual unpolished demand for " some- 
body " to come and answer the door, but there came nobody, 
so dismounting and leaving the pony with the sais I lifted 
up the reed blind (passing under the name of chick, which 
is supposed to keep out the flies and prevent people seeing 
in) and entered. 

The room was barely furnished and untenanted. On a 
little table by a sofa stood a work-basket, and beside it a 
book lying open on its face. Thinking the owner's name 
might be inside it, and so help me, I picked it up. On the 


cover was inscribed " Omar Khayyam," and on the titk 
page, " To my dearest — ' May the Lord watch between thee 
and me when we are apart from one another.' " That was 
all, so it did not help me much. Placing it again as I had 
found it, I wandered on into the next room — empty, but for 
a bedstead in the middle, in true Oriental style ; and on the 
floor a half-unpacked box, with dresses and photo frames 
strewn beside it. 

Retracing my steps, I thought I would try the other end 
of the house, and drawing back a heavy purdah (curtain) 
entered another room. Here evidently was the object of my 
search, for the bed covered with a dainty lace bedspread 
was occupied by a girl with large violet eyes and a profusion 
of red-brown hair the colour of a horse-chestnut when the 
sun shines on it. Her face was very pale, and the skin 
dra\\-n tight over the little pointed nose and away from her 
teeth. A map of blue veins was traced on her brow and round 
her nose ; even so, she was beautiful, she must have been 
glorious in health. 

I introduced myself, saying I had heard from my ayah she 
was alone and ill, so had called to see if there was anything 
I could do for her. She did not speak, but gave a little sigh 
— a sort of dry sob, the thin white hand lying on her chest 
trembled, she never took her large earnest eyes off my face, 
and I saw big silent tears were running races down the sides 
of her face, seeing which could hide itself quickest in the 
mass of matted hair lying in such profusion around her. 

I took the little cold hand in mine, and wiped away the 
tears. This, instead of soothing her, as I had hoped, pro- 
duced a convulsion of sobs and grief, the little body seemed 
as if it must fall to pieces under such emotion. She turned 
her head away and pulled her hair down over her face with 
trembling fingers, but did not speak. Thinking perhaps it 
would be kind to leave her for a while, I moved out on to the 

Here just under the window fast asleep was the old ayah 
rolled up in her sleeping blanket. With some difficulty I 
awoke her, as she was dazed with sleep and opium. After 


waiting patiently for a short time, she pulled herself together 
sufficiently to answer my questions. 

What was the mem-sahib's name ? She did not know. 
How long had they been up on the hills ? The answer to 
this required grave thought and calculation, at last she came 
to the conclusion it was " 40 sleeps ago," which I presume 
meant about six weeks. Had she known the lady long ? 

No, the sahib had engaged them at , she and the bearer, 

to come up to the hills with them. The sahib came too, but 
only stayed one day, gave them a month's money and went 
away. She had not seen him since, and did not know where 
he lived, as both she and the bearer were told to be on the 
station to meet the evening train ; they were then shown 
into a carriage all by themselves next door to the sahib and 
mem-sahib, that was all she knew. Had she sent for a 
doctor to attend the lady ? No, the mem-sahib said she 
did not want one, would be very angry if one came, so when 
the baby came she ran to the Bazaar for a woman accus- 
tomed to these things. 

I stood still thinking for a moment. Here was a curious 
state of things for the nineteenth century — a sick woman, 
evidently of gentle birth, without a name, who would not 
or could not speak, certainly very ill, and nobody with her. 
It was most embarrassing, evidently she did not wish to see 
anybody, as the ayah said she would not even see a doctor. I 
might very easily, instead of helping her, complicate matters. 

One thing, however, was quite certain, I could not go 
and leave her as she was, for that she was seriously ill I 
could not doubt. Looking round for the ayah I found she 
had disappeared, but now the bearer was standing near 
me making profound salaams. 

I asked what food the lady took, and was told she had 
soup and brandy. Asking for some of the latter and mixing 
it with water, I returned to the bedroom and persuaded her 
to drink it. She was now quite calm, but exhausted, and 
her pulse very feeble. 

Determined to go and find a doctor, I told her how sorry 
I was to see her so ill, but she must cheer up and look upon 


me as a friend, who would take care of her and fetch a doctor 
to make her better. 

This seemed to rouse her, for in a weak voice she thanked 
me for my kindness, and expressed a w'ish to be left alone, 
and she would not have a doctor, it Vvould soon be over, 
and she added, " and I shall be oh — so — glad ! " 
Her pulse was better, the brandy was doing its work, her 
eyelids drooped, and I left her in forget fulness of her grief 
and pain. 

On my return home I wTote to the English doctor in 
attendance on the Chief Commissioner and asked him to go 
and see the girl, for she did not look more than eighteen. 
In reply came a poHte note saying how much pleasure it 
would have given him to comply with my request, but 
professional etiquette prevented him interfering with other 
people's patients. Such is the red tape of India. 

So I sat down and wTote to the doctor at the depot ; he 
likewise was sorry, but he could not interfere with other 
people's patients. The unfortunate girl did not seem to 
come under anybody's category. What was to be done ? 
I decided to ask the regimental doctor at the depot to come 
and talk to me about it and advise me, which he kindly did, 
saying a civilian doctor must attend her, not one of which 
was in the station at the time. 

I then wTote and asked the chaplain what I had better do ; 
he replied he did not know, " it was really very awkward," 
he would call and see " this person," who he feared must 
be a strange character and probably " very unsatisfactory." 

I had tried to frighten the ayah and bearer into being 
attentive by telling them if the lady died from want of food 
and attention they would get into trouble, so they must be 
very careful of her. How I wished my husband was in the 
hills with me, to advise and tell me what I had better do. 

Next morning I went as early as I could to see how the 
invalid was ; this time I was greeted by a faint smile, but 
still she did not speak. As she looked very uncomfortable 
with her pillows slipping out from under her head, I went 
to rearrange them and put the bed straight. As I turned 


the sheet back smoothly, I discovered that in her left arm, 
held tight to her body, was a bundle of flannel. Of course, 
this was the baby my ayah had spoken of. Why had I not 
thought of it before ? How quiet it had been ! 

I remarked, " How quiet your baby is. May I look at it ? 
I love babies." She turned her eyes on me in a perfect blaze 
and said, " For God's sake, leave me alone, let me die in 
peace." But I was uneasy, and said, " I must look at the 
baby," also that my whole wish was to help her, which would 
be much easier if only she would trust me and tell me how 
that could best be done. 

She implored me to leave her and the baby alone, saying 
it had never ceased crying from the moment it was 
born till the day before I went to see her, and now it was 
asleep, quite quiet, and she did not want it disturbed. 
However, I turned back the flannel. Yes, certainly it was 
sleeping, it would never do anything else again, but it 
must sleep elsewhere, poor little starved, pinched atom ! 

I tried very gently to take it away, but the poor little 
mother clung to it, refusing to give it up, saying, " Why do 
you come and interfere ? No, I will not give it up, it is my 
very own, all that is left to me ; and I have paid a great 
price for it. Yes, I know it is dead, and I am very glad, I 
prayed it might die and be taken out of its misery, for it had 
cried so pitifully, I want to keep it and be buried with it, 
only I take so long to die." 

How dark the room was growing — and what was the 
matter with my eyes ? I groped my way out on to the 

What was to be done ? It was too ghastly ! I decided 
to go up to Government House and explain it all to the 
Lieutenant-Governor and his charming wife, whom I liked 
very much. They at once sent their own doctor to look 
after her. I waited outside on the verandah, he seemed a 
very long time in the invalid's room and everything was so 
quiet. At last I heard steps behind me — it was the doctor 
carrying the poor little bundle of flannel. I wanted to speak, 
but something in my throat prevented me He paused by 


me for a moment, saying, " Can you go and sit by her till 
I come back ? I have given her an injection of morphia, and 
she is asleep. I will make all the arrangements about this." 

I was beginning to feel rather as if I wanted the doctor 
myself, my legs would hardly carry me back to the bedside, 
where I sat down to wait. All was so still, the fragile- 
looking, pathetic figure on the bed hardly seemed to breathe. 
On the table by her stood a little gold clock, the ticking of 
which got on my nerves. In a leather case made with doors 
that opened and shut was a crucifix. 

After a while she moaned and seemed to be waking, for 
she put her hand as if to feel under her pillow, and as my 
eye followed the movement I saw a little pink knitted baby 
shoe almost hidden out of sight ; perhaps I had better take 
it away, it could be nothing but a fresh agony to her when 
she awoke, for there is nothing makes one feel more dead than 
the sight of dear, familiar, precious things in their accus- 
tomed places when the owners no longer need them. 

When the doctor returned, he said he had brought a 
woman who could be relied on to stay by the invalid for the 
night, for which I was truly thankful, yet I could not stay 
away so long, and sent for my things for the night, resting 
on the sofa in the drawing-room. 

Early in the morning I thought I heard her voice, so went 
in and sat by her ; she never asked for her baby, and seemed 
very calm, but I saw she was sinking. Between sips of 
medicine and brandy and little sleeps, I heard the story. 

She was nineteen. Her name was Daphne , and her 

husband was very jealous and drank at times heavily. She 
did not love him — how could she — but she loved with a 
consuming passion another man, then she thought when 
her baby was going to be born it would not be blessed if she 
did not confess to her husband that she loved someone else. 
Her husband was furious, and said dreadful things, and that 
the child should not be born in his home, he had done with 
her, and he brought her up to the hiUs with strange servants 
who stole all her things, and told her that she could now 
send for her lover and please herself. 


She had written to him and explained her husband had 
cast her off, and would he come to her, but no answer had 
ever been received, and now she was too ill to write, so 
would I write for her and say, " Dear Heart, why have you 
never come ? You always said I had only to call and you 
would hear, you knew you would, and come even if it was 
from the ends of the earth, but it is too late now, my baby 
is dead, and taken from me, and I am going too — very soon. 
Dear Heart, how I have loved you. Good bye ! I would 
not have been so unkind to you." 

Here I held her hand while she signed " Daphne." I 
posted the letter myself, went back to her and stayed till 
the early dawn, when the crows began to quarrel on the 
verandah and the parakeets to screech in the trees. The 
end was very near. I asked her if there were any wishes she 
would like me to carry out. I think she said, " No." I 
knelt down beside her so as to catch any words if she spoke. 
I heard " dear heart," but could catch none of the rest, 
and with a gentle sigh the spirit was freed from its tired, 
broken-hearted body. 

I felt as if I wanted to go home to bed, to pull the clothes 
over my head, and not speak again for weeks, but I could not 
make up my mind to leave her there all alone, not one soul 
to be sorry, not one to treat the poor little body with the 
reverence due to such a wealth of love. 

I took the violets out of my dress, and put them in her 
hands, and, kneeling down beside her, poured out one last 
poor plea, " Oh, be gentle with her. Death ! " 

I straightened out the limbs and closed the violet eyes, 
but they would not stay closed ; what could I do ? I re- 
membered in my purse I had two English pennies I kept to 
remind me of the dear old country ; these I placed as little 
shutters to the windows of the now untenanted home, for 
the spirit was free. In my little handbag there was a clean 
handkerchief with a lace edge, I laid this over her face, 
left the house in charge of the ayah and sent the bearer with 
a note to the doctor to make the necessary arrangements. 

After I reached home I remembered I had left my purse 


on the table by Daphne's bed, and that I ought to put all 
her things together and take care of them, so in the afternoon 
I went back, to find the house deserted, the ayah and bearer 
disappeared, also all Daphne's pretty things and the two 
English pennies. The doctor came with a soldier's \vife 
to do all that was left to be done, for at sunset she was to 
be taken to her last resting-place ; in the East there is seldom 
any delay — we are dead in the morning, buried at night, 
and forgotten next day. 

My heart was full of bitterness for the man she had loved 
so dearly. How could he be so inhuman ? The address was 
in my pocket, should I wTite and tell him it was all over ? 
I had just returned from the dear little cemetery, so beauti- 
fully kept ; having been the sole mourner for one I had only 
known so short a time. It all seemed so pitiful and tragic, 
perhaps having had several sleepless nights I was over- 
wTought, but without waiting to even take off my hat I 
threw myself down on the sofa and sobbed. 

I heard a great clatter outside, in a vague far-off way, 
but having said " Dawaza Bund," which answers to our 
English " not at home," I did not trouble, probably some- 
body's pony was frisky and quarrelsome. 

My bearer entered, very apologetic for disturbing me, 
but there was a sahib who would not go away, he seemed to 
be mad. I looked at the card — it was Daphne's lover. 
Yes, let him come in ; I should be glad of an opportunity 
to tell him what I thought of him. 

There entered a tall handsome man of about thirty, 
who said he had been to the bungalow where Daphne had 
written from, or, rather, the letter I had wTitten and she 
had signed ; he had only found a soldier locking up the house 
who told him to come to me as I had nursed her and 
buried her that evening. Sobs, terrible sobs shook him and 
made him tremble from head to foot. My anger was gone, 
and here were we, two entire strangers, seated on the same 
sofa, breaking our hearts over poor little Daphne ! 

When we were calmer, I asked him if he felt he would like 
to explain anything to me, as I was still very much in the 


dark, but so apparently was he ; he had never received any 
letter from her but the one I posted, and he had left by 
the next train and come as fast as it was possible to come ; 
he had no idea she had left her husband or, rather, that her 
husband had left her, and certainly her husband had no 
reason for his conduct, for there never lived a whiter, purer 
soul than hers. He had asked her to leave her husband, who 
was a drunken brute, but she had said," No " ; " and she loved 
me so much she felt it better we should not meet, and because 
I loved her, I agreed, I felt she was right. Why, because I 
loved her, should I drag her name through the mud ? But 
knowing her so well, and having loved her since she was a 
child, I can quite understand now from what you tell me 
that she felt it her duty, poor innocent child, to tell her 
husband she loved someone else ; that she was very sorry 
but could not help it ; and then he hurled cruel, wicked in- 
sinuations in her face, and finally left her. I can now see it 
all plainly, and the letters she wrote to me, where are they ? 
That confounded devil of an ayah probably destroyed them 
and stole the stamps, while my little girlie was waiting for 
me — oh, it is too, too cruel ! " 

" Then — hm — then there really was nothing," I asked, 
" no reason why her husband should have deserted her in 
the cruel way he did ? " 

" No reason at all, but I can quite imagine Daphne 
would be too pained and hurt to ever wish to go back, it 
would be a great shock to her to have her innocent and 
unnecessary confession turned into unfaithfulness. Only 
once did I kiss her, I lost my head one night at a dance, 
and she did not resist me because she then knew what I 
had known before, we loved passionately. This little soul, 
whose beautiful head only came a little above my elbow, had 
grit enough to say she could not regret it, but she could no 
longer live her life if I was always near her, so I exchanged 
into another regiment." 

I tried to comfort him ; I said she had, I thought, all she 
wanted in the way of money ; and he told me she had money 
of her own, so was saved that trouble in addition to others. 



It is so difficult to comfort people, words are so inadequate ; 
there is no comfort reaUy but Time — merciful Time, bring- 
ing healing on its wings. 

The bungalow where Daphne died has been added to by 
her lover and I believe he has endowed it ; for it is now a 
home of rest for mothers and sick children, and there is a 
Daphne ward. 

I was asked to choose a text or verse to put up over the 
portal. I suggested : 

God looks not to see if the hands are full 
He looks to see if they are clean. 

Writing of poor Daphne's death reminds me of other things 
taking place about the same time. I am thinking of the 
Afghan Boundary Commission which Sir West Ridgeway 
brought to a more or less satisfactory conclusion, though it 
proved an exceedingly difficult task, and a most unenviable 
one, in consequence of his having been put in charge of the 
Commission in midstream, so to speak, after Sir Peter 
Lumsden had made a hopeless mess of an extremely badly 
conceived and arranged programme. 

Little was known of this Commission's undertakings and 
achievements outside ofi&cial circles, but in connection with 
events to-day it is of interest. While speaking about it in 
1885 to a big political gun, he expressed himself thus : 
" It is a foolish, badly thought-out undertaking " ; and so it 
was in many ways, leading to much humiliation for the 
British and one or two " regrettable incidents." Neverthe- 
less the demarcation of the Afghan Frontier as agreed by 
the Commission between 1884-1888 has held good up to the 
present time. 

There are really only two routes by which India can be 
approached : the open and really easy one from Herat by 
Sabzawar, Farah, and Girishk to Kandahar and so to Quetta, 
and the more difficult one which leads from the Oxus by 
Tashkurgahn and Ghori to the barrier of the Hindekush 
range, over that to Kabul, and eventually to Peshawar. 

There are two main lines of railway from Russia towards 
Afghanistan, one the Trans-Caspian railway from the 


Caspian to Panjdeh and Merv, the other the Oranburg line 
to Samarcand and Bokhara, These are joined by the con- 
tinuation of the Trans-Caspian Hne which goes on from Merv 
across the Oxus to Bokhara. Then there is a branch hne 
from Panjdeh to within a few marches of Herat ; also, it 
appears, another branch I have only recently heard of from 
Bokhara to Termez on the Oxus. 

From this it will be seen how Russia, if so inclined, or 
Russia controlled by Germany, has half Afghanistan entirely 
at her mercy. 

I wish that anything I can say would awaken the folk at 
home to our danger in the East. 

We have all had so much war that we are, out of weari- 
ness, inclined to cry peace, peace, when there is no peace ; far 
from it. 

This I tried to impress on a number of leading lights of 
both sexes at a brilliant symposium of a non-alcoholic 
nature which I held in town a few weeks ago. I could see 
plainly that the majority of those present considered any 
trouble of the nature I apprehended was on the horizon and 
too far away to be worth troubling about — even if it existed. 

Yet, within a fortnight of that gathering, where I had 
foreshadowed trouble in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the 
Amir was murdered and Egypt in open revolt. I confess 
the trouble came quicker than I had expected, but I stated 
I was sure it was coming, just as surely as more is ahead of 
us of greater magnitude. 

I do not think that many people who are imacquainted 
with India and her inhabitants have any idea of the hold 
that German propaganda has on the so-called educated 
natives. The education that in my humble opinion often 
proves only an acute form of mental indigestion. We like 
to think the countries we have conquered appreciate our 
efforts for their well-being and happiness, and are propor- 
tionately grateful, but no country likes being conquered ; 
hate always lies in their hearts. We do not expect to meet 
with gratitude from individuals we may have benefited, 
why expect it from nations ? 


There is to-day both in India and Egypt that alarming 
religious unrest which history has taught us to regard with 
anxiety. Many curious theories are afloat concerning the 
Germans, and it is by no means uncommon to hear President 
Wilson's attitude or supposed attitude expounded in no 
flattering terms to this country. There seems to be a pre- 
vailing opinion that we are no longer able to stand alone, 
and high-sounding speeches are made about " Home Rule 
for India " and " Home Rule for Egypt." There has even 
been occasional trouble with troops, who have expressed 
loss of faith in us. 

It was a mistake allowing Germans to remain uninterned 
in India or Egypt after the commencement of hostilities, 
for very shortly I heard of gun-running plots, Hindus being 
murdered by Mohammedans and so forth. 

The late Amir, son of Abdul Rahman Khan, was as faithful 
to us as his father, and his death at the present time is 
unfortunate. Germany tried hard to make him less friendly 
to Great Britain. As late as in 1915 they sent a mission 
(consisting of a somewhat polyglot crowd) to the Amir with 
a letter, or note I believe it was called, from the German 
Chancellor advising him to throw off the British yoke and 
telling him how to do it. An Indian anarchist or two re- 
siding in Berlin at the time accompanied this mission. 

None of them were able to shake the Amir's loyalty and 
he politely intimated to them that the British were his best 

When Turkey entered the war under German influence 
it placed the Amir in an awkward position, from which, how- 
ever, he emerged with flying colours, for he was sufficiently 
diplomatic to send a polite message to the Viceroy in India, 
expressing his regret that the Ottoman Government had been 
so unwise. 

The poor little murdered Amir was very English in his 
tastes, liking modem comforts of all kinds. Electric light, 
for instance, was installed at Kabul, which frightened the 
natives horribly. They thought it was some evil spirit at 
work, and refused to go anywhere near it. Instead of order- 


ing off the heads of his subjects in the old Oriental style, 
the Amir only laughed ; for he was of a happy nature. 

Lord Kitchener is supposed to have given the Amir his 
first motor-car, but this is not quite correct. He only sug- 
gested his having one, thinking it would be a pleasure to him, 
and on being asked which car he recommended, K. of K. 
mentioned one or two makers who were well known. The 
Amir promptly said he would have one of each ! and he 
paid for them himself. 

I have been told many things in confidence concerning 
the present unrest in the East, of which I must not speak, 
but I would like to give one word of warning, beware of 
German missionaries. This also applies to Egypt. And 
does anybody know where Enver Pasha is ? 

We are told all is quiet now in Cairo ; that is not in accord- 
ance with my knowledge. I hope the Egyptian police and 
soldiers will remain faithful and subordinate, but there has 
been a little trouble already and there is no limit to what 
may happen in any holy war, which is what the present 
agitation is tending towards ; and which may easily and 
quickly spread amongst the Arabs and on to Mussulmans in 
Palestine and S^Tia. 

But I must get back to my Afghan Boundary Commission 
and the work done in connection with it, for we know not 
the hour when all the information then gained may prove 
of great importance. 

At the beginning of the war Germany showed considerable 
interest in Persia until her little arrangements were knocked 
on the head by King George and the Czar, and her en- 
deavours to cause strife on the Indian and Afghan frontiers 
ended in failure. 

So far so good, but what is our position in Russia now ? 
World politics undergo strange changes, the friends of one 
generation may be the enemies of another and vice versa. 
Into the future we cannot see, but this is certain, the strong 
man armed may keep his goods in peace, but the strong 
man unarmed is certain sooner or later to be deprived of 


Since the demarcation of the Afghan Boundary the world's 
face has changed certainly, but we know faces may change 
while hearts do not. Before long there will have to be a 
careful demarcation of frontiers and a general re-shuffle all 
round when the railways and routes I have been describing 
will no doubt be taken into serious consideration, and it 
will be well if we guard ourselves more effectually than we 
have done in the past . 

The Afghan War of 1878-80 was undertaken solely to 
prevent Afghanistan coming under the influence of Russia ; 
the paramount importance of the country to the rulers of 
India will easily be recognised when it is remembered that 
every land invasion of India has come by way of Afghanistan ; 
through it alone lie the routes by which an invading army 
can reach the Indian plains. 

Most people know this, but many think that an invasion 
of India through Afghanistan is in some undefined way 
impracticable. They think of Afghanistan as a country 
of extraordinary natural difiiculties, populated by war-like 
tribes (of course all Afghans !), savage, fanatical, and with 
an extreme love of independence ; ready to fight desperately 
against any invader. These ideas are not in accordance 
with the actual facts. The natural difficulties of Afghanistan 
are nothing like so great as those of Switzerland. There are 
no perpetual snows or great glaciers, and if there are no 
regular and well-made roads, many of the existing tracks 
could be made practicable for artillery and transport without 
excessive labour. 

If two European armies encountered one another in the 
mountains of Afghanistan they would meet with difficulties 
far less than those successfully overcome by the Italians 
and Austrians in the Alps. There would be no more difficulty 
in making a railway from Herat to Kandahar than was 
found by the Italian engineers of the last generation when 
they made the lines through Lombardy and Venetia, the 
engineering obstacles in each case being of much the same 

What led to the appointment of the Commission was the 


uneasiness caused in the seventies of last century by the 
doings of Russia in Central Asia, she, having absorbed 
Bokhara, extended her influence as far as Yarkland and 
conquered Khiva. She was exploring the Pamirs on the 
one side and had obtained a large sphere of influence in 
Persia on the other. From her port of Michailvosk on the 
Caspian she was pushing a railway south-eastwards parallel 
to the Persian frontier and was thus approaching Afghan- 

Some of the stronger tribes principally " Akhal Jekkes " 
opposed them, when a regular campaign was undertaken 
under no less a person than the celebrated General Skobeloff. 
It ended in what w^as then known as " the massacre " of 
Gok Tapa, on which occasion the beaten Turkomans were 
treated in a rather Hun-like fashion. 

This had a considerable effect in Central Asia, and the 
progress of the Russians and their railway was not further 
disputed. The immediate goal of the latter was the com- 
paratively fertile tract of Merv, a famous place in ancient 
times, and its position makes it of considerable importance 
strategically. Imagine a large island a hundred and twenty 
miles off the north-west coast of Ireland, and you have the 
position of Merv with regard to Afghanistan and India. 

No one with any thought for the future cared to see it 
permanently in the hands of a great military power who had 
already absorbed the most part of Central Asia. 

The papers were full of Merv about this time ; those who 
knew what they were talking about, and some who did not, 
went so far as to declare that it was the key of India ; others, 
chiefly the more ignorant, scoffed at the former, calling them 
alarmists and poked fun at them for their " Mervousness I " 

Diplomatic action was taken, no other being practicable, 
and the Russians went forward and took possession of the 
place, meeting with no opposition ; the lesson of Gok Tapa 
having had effect. 

Now, however. Amir Abdul Rahman became perturbed, 
and he informed the British Government, who controlled 
his foreign policy, in return for certain substantial advan- 


tages, that he wished for their support. This led to a pro- 
posal to Russia that the frontier of Afghanistan should be 
demarcated by a joint commission. This proposal was 
accepted. It was hopeless to expect that the Amir and his 
people could protect themselves against Russian aggression 
in any effectual way. Moreover, the British Government 
was not only bound by agreement to assist the Amir to 
preserve the integrity of his dominion, but it was in the 
highest degree to their interests to do so. 

The menace at that time was very real, the aims of the 
war party at St. Petersburg, then very powerful, were not 
so crude as to contemplate an immediate advance into 
Afghanistan, they only wished, for the time being, to obtain 
a footing within the natural limits of Afghanistan with a 
view to a railway being constructed for future uses, when 
the proper moment arrived. 

It was probably expected that when the advance began 
the provinces of Herat, Afghan, Turkestan and possibly 
Badakhshan would fall into Russian hands without a blow. 
A rapid extension of the railways would permit of several 
hundred thousand men being transported into those pro- 
vinces and maintained there without difficulty. 

If a real conflict had been begun the Russians would have 
had the advantage on their side considering their practically 
inexhaustible strength of reserves compared to the scanti- 
ness of the numbers immediately available on our side, the 
difficulty of obtaining adequate reinforcements from home, 
and the little assistance to be obtained from the Afghans. 
The issue would have been at least doubtful. Once the 
Russians were masters of Afghanistan our position in India 
would become intolerable. Even if no actual invasion of 
India were attempted, the mere fact of having to maintain 
a really large army in the Punjab for defensive purposes 
would strain India's resources to the utmost, while we know 
well what sort of intrigues would be provoking dissatis- 
faction, unrest, and possibly mutiny all over the country. 
Skobeloff at one time talked of hurling masses of cavalry 
into India, but changed his mind on finding the difficulties 


of transport for 150,000 men, and decided to defer his effort 
until the contemplated railways were completed. Never- 
theless, it is quite possible that at some future time an in- 
vasion of Afghanistan on the lines indicated may be at- 
tempted, and it is on this account that I have gone into the 

I can now pass on to the story of the Boundary Commission 
which, though almost forgotten, is worth recalling for the 
lessons it conveys. 

One afternoon in August, 1884, Sir Donald Stewart, 
then Commander-in-Chief in India, was riding round the 
big hill at Simla when he stopped a certain officer, a friend 
of mine (who prefers to be nameless but who is, I am glad 
to say, still going strong), and asked him in his dry, half- 
humorous way if he was prepared to start for the Baluch 
desert the next day. My friend, immensely astonished, his 
thoughts having been wandering in immediate social circles 
dreamily and pleasantly for some time, replied, " Yes, sir, 
I think so, at least I could start the day after." 

" That will do," said Sir Donald, adding, " You should 
go and see Durand" (the Indian Foreign Secretary)" to- 
morrow ; he will be expecting you." 

The officer, still mystified, saluted and was passing on 
when the Chief remarked over his shoulder, " It is about this 
Boundary Commission, you know, you'll have to take it 
across the desert if you can." 

About a week later the same officer found himself mounted 
on a camel and trotting out into the Baluch desert west 
of Nushki accompanied only by a Persian munshi (inter- 
preter) belonging to the Quetta political agency, and three 
or four raggamufiin horsemen as a nominal escort. A few 
spare camels carried a couple of quilts to sleep on and a very 
slender stock of provisions. The object of the party was to 
discover the best route for the coming Commission and to 
improve or create a sufficient water supply at the camping 
grounds between Nushki, the last bit of fertility on the 
desert edge, and the Helmund river, a distance of about one 
hundred and ninety-five miles. To the inexperienced in 


such matters that sounds depressing, but no known desert 
is actually without water altogether, particularly where 
little rocky hills arise there is certain to be water if you know 
where to look for it. 

For several weeks my officer friend worked very hard ; 
he pressed into his service a few wandering Baluch, and pits 
were dug, as many as thirty or forty in one place, in search of 
water, and at almost the only spot where surface water 
existed a really noble supply was made available. 

Here lived, in a couple of wattled hovels, three or four 
elderly salads,^ who watched a ziarat^ or shrine where 
infrequent travellers would stop the night and pay a few 
coins for water and the protection of the saint. 

Before the above-named noble supply was made available 
there were some moments of disappointment and dismay, 
for the oldest saiad who had spoken of a water supply being 
at hand, when asked to point out its whereabouts, led them 
on their arrival in the dusk to a flat stone, saying, " Here it 
is." The officer and munshi groped under the flat stone 
pointed out to them as the right spot then looked at one 
another in dismay, for there was only about a teacupful 
of water and they had counted much on this place. The 
munshi (a townsman) gave way altogether, remarking that 
Eblis himself could not live in such a country and they had 
better give it up. The officer, however, pulled himself to- 
gether, having met a desert or two before, and having seen 
a whole troop of cavalry watered from a hole no bigger than 
an ordinary silk hat. He therefore cross-questioned the 
old saiad, being rewarded in time by being told there was a 
talas (pond). " A talas," shouted the officer. " Where is 
it ? " And was told in reply, " Huzoor, the sand has covered 
it, but the place can be found." 

The three set off at once in the starlight, stumbling among 
the sandhills. Arriving on the top of one, their guide said, 
" Here it is." The place looked unlikely and the munshi 
quoted a Persian poet who seemed to have agreed with 

* A saiad is a descendant of the Prophet. 

* A ziarat is the burial place of a holy man. 


David as to the general untruthfulness of mankind. However, 
the old man was right and after ten days of hard digging a 
pond of about ten feet by eight and two feet deep was ready 
for use. 

Meanwhile the British Commission were assembling at 
Quetta. The orders received from Sir Donald Stewart by 
my friend had been to find a route and provide water for a 
body of two hundred men and three hundred animals ; he 
was therefore somewhat dismayed when he learnt that the 
total number would amount to at least a thousand persons, 
a tremendous train of camels, and a very large number of 
riding and baggage animals. 

The Commission itself at that moment was represented 
by Colonel (now Sir West Ridgeway) of the Indian Foreign 
Office, Assistant Commissioner in charge, three or four other 
political officers, a medical man, and about a dozen selected 
native officers. H.M's Commissioner-General, Sir Peter 
Lumsden, was in England and was to come out overland 
when the Commission had reached the scene of its labours. 
Attached to the Commission was a Survey Party and an 
Intelligence Party ; the former under Major (now Sir 
Thomas) Holditch. 

The Commission was lavishly provided with tents, bulky 
stores, champagne and other luxuries, or perhaps the officers 
provided themselves with it, at any rate, whichever it was, 
a caravan contractor had to provide a separate column of 
camels to carry it. Besides this ordinary " light " baggage 
the Commission loaded a train of camels at least equal to 
the baggage of an Indian Brigade on field service. Food 
and forage for the whole lot of men and beasts had to be 
carried for thirteen or fourteen marches of the desert journey. 
The water question gave some anxiety to the officer respon- 
sible for its supply. The wells that had been arranged 
at the halting-places had to be emptied a few hours before 
the arrival of each party, for if left to stand it was like the 
most nauseous decoction that ever issued from a druggist's 
shop and apt to produce certain medicinal effects ; when 
fresh the water was slightly saline but drinkable. The 


water was not the only cause of anxiety. To carry a large 
number of men across a desert incurs the risk of serious delay 
and even loss of life from people losing their way ; especially 
is this the case when the start from camp has to be made in 
darkness, as is usually the case. Troops have been known 
to move out in a totally \^Tong direction and even take the 
road back to where they had come from the previous day. 
Guides are of little use at night ; they go entirely by land 
marks and when they cannot see them are apt to lose their 
heads and way completely. 

With such a heterogeneous and motley undisciplined 
crowd as that which followed the Commission special 
precautions were necessary, so my friend, the desert expert, 
provided against this by having fires lighted half a mile or 
so out of camp on the road to be taken. Every person in 
camp knew that in starting he was to make for the fire ; on 
reaching that he would see another, perhaps a couple of 
miles off, but plainly visible in the clear desert air. After 
passing the third or fourth fire it would begin to be daylight 
and there would be no further difficult }% as guides were at 
the head of each column. 

Arrived at the Helmund the Commission was met by 
Kazi-Saad-ud-din, the Amir's mehmandar (guest master), 
who from this point was responsible for the well-being of the 
Commission, and therefore to a great extent controlled its 
movements, except when demarcation was actually going 
on. He arranged the stages and ordered the supplies ; 
this was carried out by the local officials in a very satisfactory 
manner. For these supplies of flour, mutton, grain and 
forage for horses nothing was paid. 

The Indian Government was willing and anxious that the 
Commission should pay for what they required, but the 
Amir refused, partly because the Commission were his 
guests and also because, as he naively added, he paid nothing 
for the supplies himself ! 

As the stay of the Commission in the country was pro- 
longed beyond all expectation this dictum was, I think, some- 
what relaxed. Though entirely in accordance with Asiatic 


principles and practice, it must have pressed heavily on the 
people and would not have contributed to the popularity of 
the British in Afghanistan or of the Amir himself. 

Why the Commission should have been obliged to take 
this roundabout and inconvenient route through the desert 
to the lower Helmund and Sistan, instead of by the natural 
way via Kandahar and the regular caravan road to Herat, 
will never perhaps be clearly explained. It was the Amir's 
wish, and that is all that can be said about it. It rather 
gave the impression that he was not completely master of 
his own dominion, but this was not really so, Afghanistan 
never had, and perhaps never will, have a stronger ruler. 

Keeping well away from the usual line by the express wish 
of the Amir, the Commission marched towards Herat, 
passing the vast reedy marsh known as the Lakes of Sistan, 
which is an ideal home for water fowl, and where once a 
Sistani Chief had taken a British officer out to shoot duck 
on one of his tuti (a little craft made of dried reeds) and 
deliberately shot him. The unfortunate man's body was 
hauled out of the water and hung up in a hut in its dripping 
clothes in the expectation that it would turn into gold. This 
really happened some seventy years ago. 

For a long time it was thought that Herat was a place of 
some strength and might be held against a European enemy, 
but this was never really the case. The interior is not inter- 
esting, there being few buildings of importance, but a little 
to the north-west of the town was a great mosque called 
the Mosalla, built of burnt brick. One of its arches was 
eighty feet high, with some beautiful coloured tile-work. 
This fine building was destroyed by the Amir's orders at 
our suggestion as it stood rather near the wall, but it was a 
piece of quite unnecessary vandalism. 

There is no natural or ethnological boundary between 
Herat and Persia, the frontier of which lies close at hand. 
From Herat the next march was to Kohsan, where a halt 
was made after having marched about 600 miles from Quetta. 
It was now the middle of November, and the weather very 


While in this village of Kohsan, H.M's Commissioner, 
General Sir Peter Lumsden, joined the Commission and took 
all responsibility. He had held high appointments in India 
and presumably possessed the confidence of the Government 
at home. The march was now continued through a fine 
sporting country imtil the Murghab river was reached, 
where they went into camp for the winter to await the arrival 
of the Russians, of whom there were some ominous reports, 
one being that General Zelenoi, the Russian Chief Commis- 
sioner, was ill and the departure of the Russian Commission 
had consequently been delayed. This was unpleasant, 
evidently things were not quite as had been expected. 
However, there was nothing to be done but wait, so all 
proceeded to make themselves as comfortable as possible. 

A little pigsticking was indulged in on the way up. Pig 
were plentiful, and it was not difficult to get a run. To kill 
a boar was, however, quite another matter, as owing to the 
coldness of the climate they had acquired a thick coating 
of matted hair under their bristles, and this was so hard that 
the spears often failed to penetrate, consequently piggy 
generally escaped, while the chances of getting a horse 
ripped were considerable. Occasionally these animals t\im 
savage and go for those they consider their enemies. Sir 
Edward Durand gave me a sketch illustrating this, he 
actually saw them make the charge near Tir Pul on 
Hari-reed, two or three boars leading the attack, the water 
spouting up in a semicircle from their tusks. They charged 
through everybody. One boar was left dead. 

The Survey and Intelligence parties had been exceedingly 
busy, for the country was entirely unkno\Mi and quite 
different from what was expected, but by mid-December all 
activities had to be suspended. 

In the meantime there were certain happenings at 
Panjdeh. A Russian officer, one Alikhanoff, had an-ived 
there with an escort and held an interview or two with the 
Amir's representative at that place. This Russian was a 
rather remarkable person. He was a Caucasian, fair with 
reddish beard and blue eyes, but a Mohammedan ; the East 


and West mingle in the Caucasus. His real name was Maksud 
Ali Khan, he had been educated in Russia and had dis- 
tinguished himself as an officer, but had recently been in 
trouble and been deprived of his decorations. He was, 
however, still employed as a diplomat, what in India we 
should call a political officer. 

It was reported that this individual had been rather 
rough with the Afghan officials at Panjdeh and had told 
them they must go, as all Turkoman territory belonged to 
the Czar, and all the Turkomans were his subjects. 

The Afghan's reply to this was the despatch of regular 
troops to Panjdeh. At first it was thought that Alikhanoff' s 
announcement was mere swagger, but it proved to be the 
deliberate policy of his Government. They aimed at annex- 
ing all territory occupied by Turkomans irrespective of 
other claims, and it was reported that they would not send 
their boundary commission until a " zone of demarcation " 
had been agreed upon between the British and Russian 

It must be admitted we deserved this rap on the knuckles, 
our diplomatists should surely have satisfied themselves 
before the British Commission was sent forth that the prin- 
ciples on which demarcation was to be conducted were 
clearly understood and accepted by both sides, at least so 
it seems to the lay mind. At any rate, the result of this 
neglect was that we were met with a series of rebuffs and 
were made to look small and silly in the eyes of Asia. 

Strange as it may seem the same mistake has been re- 
peated in more recent times, on a smaller scale certainly, 
but in circumstances which might have led, and to some 
extent did lead, to serious trouble. 

Towards the end of February, the weather having im- 
proved. Sir Peter Lumsden moved with the main body of 
the Commission to Gulran in Badghis, a distance of about 
a hundred miles. The ostensible reason for this backward 
movement was to get nearer to the telegraph at Mashad 
through which the British Commission communicated with 


The Sariks at Panjdeh were uneasy and asked that a 
British officer might be sent to them as the proximity of the 
Russians troubled them, and they did not ahogether trust 
the Afghan troops in their midst. The Sariks, by the way, 
had decided to remain aloof from the dispute regarding 
the Amir's title to Panjdeh. 

Sir Peter accordingly sent Colonel Ridgeway to Panjdeh 
with several officers and a small escort, while a cavalry 
detachment of fifty lances was left half-way between Panjdeh 
and Guhan as a connecting link. If Panjdeh was Afghan 
then Afghanistan would have its natural desert boundary, 
if Russian there was no natural feature to define the frontier, 
which would have then to be carried to an indefinite distance 
to the south, perhaps to within a few marches of Herat. 

To thoroughly understand the situation it would be 
necessary to enter into some detail of the claims of the 
various tribes, which are most interesting but cannot be 
discussed here, suffice it to say the question was found to be 
considerably less simple than it appeared at first sight, 
Solomon in all his glory would have found some difficulty to 
do justice to the many claims and tribes. 

With regard to the Amir's right over Panjdeh, it was 
asserted that the Sariks had always paid a tribute to Herat 
in acknowledgment of the fact that their lands were in- 
cluded in the territory of that province, but it was not easy 
to prove this to people unwilling to be convinced, and 
against it was the fact that the Sariks had continually 
plundered Afghan subjects without being brought under 
control. It might have been possible on the basis of the 
removal of the Sariks to come to some arrangements if 
Russia had been willing, but she was not. What she wanted 
was not a fair delimitation along the natural lines of the 
country, but to gain a position that would make a good 
" jumping off " ground for a further advance. She wished 
to hold the province of Herat and Afghan-Turkistan at her 

The position was not comfortable as Russia had force 
with which to back her demands while we had none. We 


were in a false position with the great unwieldly Commission 
six hundred and thirty miles from the nearest British 
garrison, with an uncertain population at our backs. 

At Panjdeh, Colonel Ridge way enquired into the various 
claims on the spot and reported thereon to Sir Peter Lums- 
den. An officer was sent with a native surveyor to explore 
the country through which it was thought, or at least hoped, 
that the boundary would run. 

The attitude of the Russians was distinctly provocative ; 
they made demonstrations and advances which were 
evidently intended to tempt the Afghans into some overt 
act of hostility. On March ist, however, an agreement was 
come to between the Government of London and St. Peters- 
burg that no further advance should be made on either side. 

In consequence of this agreement Colonel Ridgeway 
returned to Guhan and Captain Yates (now Colonel Yates, 
M.P.), one of the politicals, was left at Panjdeh. Colonel 
Ridgeway's report to Sir Peter Lumsden was to the effect 
that strong Afghan reinforcements had arrived at Panjdeh, 
the Russians were quiet and had made no further advance, 
and there was no cause for anxiety. 

This sounded very satisfactory, but unfortunately the 
very day Colonel Ridgeway reached Guhan, believing all 
was quiet and weU, the Russians sent a party across the 
Murghab and up the east bank, turning the position taken 
up by the Afghan troops, being firmly confronted by an 
Afghan detachment on that side the Russians retired. To 
prevent a recurrence of this manceuvre the Afghan Com- 
mander placed a post at the point where the Russians had 
crossed the river, they having aheady occupied Kizel Tapa, 
a mound about a mile from the actual boundary of Panjdeh. 
Thus the agreement of March ist was technically broken 
almost at once by both sides, though the Afghans were 
little to blame. But worse was to follow. 

At the end of the Panjdeh settlement a deep nuUah comes 
in from the left as one looks down the valley. The hollow 
is perhaps fifty yards wide, and contained at that time a foot 
or two of water. Its clayey banks and muddy bottom 



made it very difficult to cross except at one point where it 
was spanned by an ancient brick aqueduct formerly part 
of an irrigation channel. This formed a practicable bridge, 
but so narrow that troops would have to pass in single file. 

True to their idea that troops fight best when they cannot 
run away, the Afghan leaders placed the whole of their 
infantry on the further side of the nullah where retirement 
was only possible by the little brick bridge. 

I do not know the actual strength of either the Afghan or 
the Russian forces, but the former had about twelve hundred 
infantry with six or eight guns and some cavalry. These 
guns were British smooth bore, made at Cossipore in the 
days of John Company, their effective range being about 
half a mile ! 

The Russians had, I believe, a battalion of Turkestan 
Rifles (Russians), four guns and several squadrons of Cos- 
sacks under the command of General Komaroff. They were, 
of course, far superior in arms, equipment, discipline, and 
training. Being now in sufficient strength, the Russians 
sent an ultimatum to the Afghan's Commander desiring 
them to withdraw. This they refused to do. The Russians 
accordingly attacked on the morning of the 31st of March, 
1885. The issue could never have been in doubt. The 
Afghan infantry were driven back into the nullah and lost 
heavily, at the same time the Cossacks got across the nullah 
higher up and drove off the Afghan cavahy. The rout was 
complete. The Naib Salai in command was w^ounded and 
all who could retreat did so as fast as possible, and for several 
marches further on. 

The Russians pushed forward a strong outpost, practically 
occupying the whole country to which they had laid claim. 

Captain Yate and his party got away with some difficulty. 
I have been told on reliable authority that Alikhanoff made 
several attempts to get the Sariks to attack his camp and 
offered two thousand krans (about £25) for the head of any 
British officer. 

Here indeed was " a regrettable incident," as the dip- 
lomatists would say. Many people believed that the with- 


drawal of the British Commission to Gulran, which had all 
the aspect of a retreat, helped to bring about this denouement, 
that it encouraged the Russians in their aggressive inclina- 

It is true the British Commissioner was in a difficult 
position, being hampered by the size of the Commission in 
the first place, while in the second his escort, if not quite big 
enough to fight, might well be thought too strong to run 
away, but his action in encouraging the Afghans to send 
troops to Panjdeh, and then leaving them to fight it out with 
the Russians, does not commend itself to our British ideas. 

It was extraordinary that Sir Peter who had been a 
soldier all his life should have imagined, as I suppose he did, 
that the Afghans were capable of making a successful 
defence against the Russians, but he stated this as his belief, 
making no secret of it . He also maintained that the Russian 
threat was all bluff and that Alikhanoff, or whoever was 
responsible, would never resort to open force with the 

It may have been bluff in the first instance and possibly 
a bolder attitude on the part of the British Commissioner 
would have averted the event which changed the whole 
course of the demarcation, but then we must remember 
Sir Peter's policy and action was approved at the time by 
Lord Granville and Mr. Gladstone. 

This affair was a severe blow for the British Commission 
and placed them in what might well have become a position 
of actual peril. 

A prompt withdrawal of Captain Yate's party from the 
neighbourhood of Panjdeh was, of course, imperative, as 
much to avoid contact with the defeated Afghan soldiers as 
with the victorious Russians. The Survey and other parties 
were hurriedly called in, and all awaited further events. 
It was most humiliating for the Commission and its escort 
to have to scuttle away with its tail between its legs. 

To the lay mind it appeared that there were only two 
courses open to the British Commissioner when he found 
at the beginning of February that the Russians instead of 


sending a Demarcation Commission were pushing forward 

He might have taken up a post in front of Panjdeh with 
the five hundred fighting men which he had available, and 
told the Russians that he had come to demarcate and not 
to fight, but that if they meant to attack the Afghans on the 
grounds in dispute, they would have to do so over the bodies 
of the Commission and its escort. This would have been 
the bold course and might have succeeded. If the Russians 
had attacked the Commission they would have put them- 
selves in the wrong in the eyes of Europe ; besides it is fairly 
certain that Russia did not want to go to ^^'ar mth England 
at that time. 

The other course would have been to withdraw under 
protest, causing the Afghan troops to retire by short stages, 
and keeping the Commission always between them and the 
Russians, so as to prevent a collision. No blame could have 
been attached to the British Commissioner for yielding 
ground to force majeure while awaiting further instructions 
from his Government. 


An Eastern statesman — He saves the situation — A scare in London — 
Overtaken by a snowstorm — Sir Peter Lumsden declines to 
halt — Another regrettable incident — Sir Peter recalled — Colonel 
Ridgeway knighted — A protocol signed — Differences of opinion 
— A bitter winter — Cossacks' complaints — The British feed 
them — " Those damned Russians " — The British position as 
viewed by Russia — Future relations between Russia and Great 
Britain — Dangerous conversations — Our fleet " can do no 
harm " — A little " show off " — Fresh difficulties — The 1873 
Agreement at fault — The Commission returns — Sir West Ridge- 
way at St. Petersburg — As a young man — His career — And 
appointments — What the tea planters say — Lady Ridgeway, 
her love of home — Some soup tickets — The King and Queen 
in Ceylon — A hospital to Lady Ridgeway's memory — Lord 
Londonderry (sixth Marquess) in Ireland — A beautiful Vicereine 
— Mr. Balfour makes a lifelong friend — A contretemps at 
Court — An air-raid on the East Coast — Lady Castlereagh rescues 
a wounded animal — Lady Londonderry's death — The London- 
derry estates — Some famous relics — The founding of their 
industrial wealth — Queen Victoria suppresses a scandal. 

THE situation was saved by the statesmanlike view 
of the situation taken by Amir Abdul Rahman. 
It so happened that on the very day of the 
Afghan defeat at Panjdeh the Amir arrived at Peshawar 
on his way to Rawal Pindi, where he was due to have a 
personal conference with the Viceroy (Lord Ripon) and 
where a State Durbar was to be held for his fitting reception. 
This Eastern statesman now carried his head high and 
affected to regard the outrageous Russian attack as a 
" regrettable incident " certainly, but not one of importance, 
and only asked that the British Government would proceed 
with the demarcation as speedily as might be practicable. 
He also named the places which he considered it essential 
should be retained by Afghanistan, and these were such as 
might still be obtained in spite of the recent action. His 
attitude was reasonable and moderate, and, what was more, 



his dominant personality had so completely impressed itself 
upon his subjects that they all without distinction accepted 
his decision and were no less well disposed towards the 
British Commission than before. And so the most em- 
barrassing features of the situation passed away. 
\ After this " little scrap " the demarcation was postponed 
sine die and the Commission was left stranded like a whale 
on a sandbank. 

The scare in London was great and in India there was a 
partial mobilisation of the comparatively scanty forces 
available. Probably what saved the situation was the fact 
that the Russian railhead was still a long way off and so far 
as it was completed was not in a fit state to bear heavy 
traffic ; or maybe the Russians were content with having 
asserted themselves and with having lowered British prestige 
in Asia and now would carry on with " a zone of demarcation 
laid down according to their own ideas." 

Sir Peter Lumsden now decided to move into the Herat 
VaUey, the cavalry escort with half the Commission starting 
on April 3rd, crossing the Helmund by an ancient bridge, 
the Tir-pul, of which the roadway had mostly disappeared. 
It was the only bridge in the Herat Valley still standing. 
It has since entirely broken down ; nothing is ever repaired 
in that country. 

The rest of the camp with Sir Peter were expected on 
the follo^\dng morning. They did not arrive, and there was 
some speculation as to the cause of delay. About noon a 
few muleteers with their animals trailed in weary and woe- 
begone, saying they had been overtaken by a snow-storm 
in the hills and that nearly all the baggage and many lives had 
been lost. After leaving Guhan the local people prophesied 
a blizzard and advised a halt, but Sir Peter did not agree ; 
so the march had to be continued, the snow falling faster 
and the wind blowing harder as they proceeded. 

Again Sir Peter was approached with a view to a halt, 
but he would not hear of it, so they pushed on, reaching 
Chashma Salz about dusk. The infantry escort arrived, but 
the baggage guard was far behind. The camels had wisely 


stayed in the pass, the drivers refusing to go any further, 
but the ponies and mules carrying the officers' personal 
belongings and those attached to the infantry were all in the 
road and evidently in a sad plight. 

The officers and a small party of the native soldiers went 
out on foot to try and help them in. They found the animals 
scattered along the road for miles back, many of them at a 
standstill with their attendants lying half dead in the snow, 
which was very deep. 

Every fallen man that could be found was hoisted on to 
an animal and every possible endeavour was made to bring 
them to the halting-place. Some were already dead, but many 
lives were saved by the exertions of the rescuers, who worked 
all night until they themselves were worn out. 

At the haltiiig-place matters were not much better ; 
only two small tents had arrived, and there was no fire and 
practically no food. Several hundred persons were now 
collected to share the shelter of the two tents. They took 
it in turns irrespective of rank and colour to pack into one or 
other of the two little tents until partially thawed, when they 
went out again into the blizzard to make room for others. 

The following morning the sun was shining and the storm 
nearly over ; parties were sent out to pick up strayed 
and abandoned animals lying all over the country. Some 
of the baggage was never recovered. 

The total loss of life was about twenty-five deaths and 
some seventy or eighty mules and ponies, poor beasts ! 

This easily avoidable misfortune, accompanied as it was 
by loss of life, did not increase the respect in which the 
Commission was held by the Afghan officials and doubtless 
the people also ! 

Sir Peter Lumsden was recalled. He returned to England 
with his two assistants and disappeared from history. So 
ended regrettable incident No. 2. 

Colonel Ridgeway was now knighted and appointed 
Commissioner. The changing horses mid-stream did not 
do any harm to the Commission. The person to be pitied 
was Sir West Ridgeway who had to take up the reins and 


make the best of a terrible muddle. Fortunately he is a 
man of great ability, self-reliance, and pluck. 

All was quiescent for a while. Rumours, of course, stalked 
abroad not only in the camps but throughout Asia. With 
the advance of spring, survey and exploration were resumed, 
and an immense amount of work was done from Mashad in 
Persia in the north-west to Taiwara in the Taimain country 
to south-east and from the Herat Valley to the Band-i- 
Turkistan, comprising an area of many thousand miles. 
The whole country previously quite unknown to us was 
mapped and examined during this spring and early summer. 

Not much was heard of the Russians about this time ; 
their main force was just outside Panjdeh ; towards Herat 
they had outposts at various places, the most advanced 
being at Ak Robart and Chaman-i-bed, not quite so far 
south as the furthest limit of their claim ; while at Zulfikar 
on the Hari-md they had about looo men including Cossacks 
and some guns. 

Sir West Ridge way decided to keep his camp moving 
for reasons of health and sanitation, and also to mitigate the 
plague of flies which are nearly as bad in the Herat Valley 
as in Egypt. After a time he divided the camps, which gave 
him greater liberty of movement. 

August came and went, and it was a whole year since the 
Boundary Commission had started from Quetta, and so 
far nothing had been accomplished but a " regrettable 
incident " or two, which had lowered our prestige and made 
it hopeless to obtain for Afghanistan its natural desert 
boundary. Only the survey and exploration was to the 
good, and apart from that directly connected with the de- 
limitations, the information obtained may prove of the 
highest value before we are much older. 

The period of waiting was now nearly over, as early in 
September the British Commission learnt that a " protocol " 
had been signed and that the demarcation was to commence 
within two months ; that would be by November loth. 
This protocol was an agreement between the British and 
Russian Governments in \\hich was stated the general lines 


on which the boundary was to run within certain limits 
(the zone of demarcation). 

It accorded, of course, with Russian ideas, that is, the 
natural boundary and Panjdeh were given up altogether. 
Against that, however, the three places the Amir had named 
as essential were all to be retained by Afghanistan. There 
were Zulfikar on the Hari-rud or Tajand River, GuLran in 
Badghis, and Maruchak on the Murghab. It took Sir West 
three months of diplomatic action to obtain these points, 
especially Zulfikar. Demarcation was to begin at this place, 
that being the extreme west end of the boundary. It was 
also understood the escorts on either side were to be limited 
to one hundred men ; this required the Commission being 
reorganised. Everyone was in high spirits. " The show " 
would be over by the end of the coming winter. 

On November ist the demarcation party with its escort 
of a hundred lances started for Zulfikar. where the Com- 
missioners were to meet, and at last the Russian Commission 
arrived on the scene, sixteen officers and an escort of about 
a hundred Cossacks. Their Chief Commissioner was Colonel 
Kuhlberg. He belonged, I believe, to the Russian Engineer 
Corps. His assistants were Monsieur Lessar, representing 
the Russian Foreign Office, and Captain Gideonoff, three 
Cossack officers of the escort, a camp commandant, five 
topographers, a doctor, etc. 

Colonel Kuhlberg was a cultivated man of pleasant 
manners, a scientist rather than a soldier. Lessar was a 
Montenegrin, a small dark man who was perhaps the real 
head of the Commission. His words often lacked the 
urbanity which marked those of Colonel Kuhlberg, and he 
had no hesitation in alluding to the force behind him when 
differences of view became apparent. Gideonoff was in 
charge of the survey. They were all easy to get on with. 
In social intercourse the Russians are a great contrast to 
the Germans. They have none of the objectionable swagger 
of the latter. 

Both Kuhlberg and Lessar spoke English well, but none 
of the others, and only a few spoke French. As a rule the 


British are not great linguists, but the officers on the Com 
mission proved themselves better in this respect than the 
Russians, who complimented the British on their attainments. 

The first formal meeting between the Commission took 
place on November nth, 1885, after which the Russians 
dined with the British and the British dined with the 
Russians, champagne was brought forth and there was much 
festivity. All were cheery and Panjdeh forgotten. An 
officer wTiting at that time said the camp was altogether 
" en fete and Cossack mad." 

A start was promptly made with the demarcation. The 
Russian troops had already been withdrawn from Zulfikar 
and it was settled that the first pillar should be put up on 
the heights overlooking the river, a mile and a half below ; 
this was a good beginning. 

Perhaps I ought to explain that Zulfikar is neither a town, 
fort nor village, but a big ravine, which gives tolerably easy 
access to the elevated plateau east of the Tajand Valley. As 
there is no other convenient passage through the cliffs for a 
considerable distance up or down, the place is of some impor- 
tance as a lateral communication, but apart from this, it is 
much thought of by the Afghans and Herat is on account of 
the legend which declares it to have been made by Ali, 
son-in-law of the Prophet, who clove the valley wall with 
a single stroke of his sword Zulfikar ! On this account, 
the abandonment of the place to the Russians would have 
been most distasteful, and have been regarded with greater 
dissatisfaction than the loss of many other places of greater 
real value. 

The agreed-on frontier having been sufficiently well laid 
down in the protocol, the demarcation progressed fairly 
rapidly at first, the exact location of the boundary pillars 
being easily settled. 

Now I am coming to the time when there was considerable 
argument over the markings of the boundaries which were 
important at the time and equally important with a view 
to the near future. 

By the end of December Maruchak was reached. It is 


an old fort of ancient date, with a crumbling citadel long 
uninhabited. Here the first of the new difficulties was 
encountered. The natural boundary was clearly indicated 
at a spot about three miles below the fort where the hills 
close in on the river and divide the Maruchak lands from 
those of Panjdeh ; but there is an old canal, the Band-i- 
Nadire, which formerly watered the Panjdeh cultivation 
and which when repaired would do so again. 

Unluckily the head of this canal, where it takes off from 
the river, was exactly opposite Maruchak and it was difficult 
not to admit that the Sariks of Panjdeh henceforth Russian 
subjects had a right to the control of their principal irrigation 

The Russian Commission, particularly, I think. Monsieur 
Lessar, was anxious not only to obtain the head of the canal 
but a great deal more up the west bank of the river, while 
the Afghans were equally vehement on the other side. Sir 
West Ridge way did his utmost to bring about a reasonable 
agreement, but no final conclusion could be arrived at, so 
the Commission parted at the end of December to go into 
winter camps, the British at Chahar Shamba while the 
Russians stayed on at Murghab. The personal relations 
between the two Commissions remained amicable. On 
Christmas night Sir West invited Kuhlberg and his ofl&cers 
to dine with him, but it was felt that the rest of the demarca- 
tion was not likely to go smoothly, especially as from 
Murghab onwards the wording of the protocol was vague. 

The Russians laid claim to large tracts of land, little 
valleys with streams, high hollows with wells, the summer 
grazing ground of numerous flocks, all of which at the time 
of the Boundary Commission had been swept bare by the 
Panjdeh Sariks and the Turkomans of the Oxus district, 
the inhabitants had been robbed of their sheep and dare not 
show themselves anywhere, the Russians therefore asserted 
their right to the whole of the devastated and depopulated 

To preserve to the subjects of the Amir even a modicum 
of their own lands and grazing grounds was the task before 


Sir West Ridgeway and his helpers, no easy matter when 
the British had no force behind them to emphasise their 
arguments. However, there was nothing to be done but wait 
until the spring, when there could be a renewal of activities. 

The winter proved a very severe one and the time would 
have passed very heavily but for the fact that there was a 
good deal of work to be done indoors. Most of the officers 
were in khirgahs, the felt tent of the country. Some had 
stoves, others built themselves fireplaces with greater or 
less success. In February for several days the thermometer 
did not rise above 15° while at night it fell to 12° or 13° 
below zero. Going to bed meant dressing rather than 
undressing. The usual procedure was to wTap themselves 
in big sheepskins and put on the thickest felt stockings. 

Some of the much-treasured and much-travelled cham- 
pagne resented the cold : the wine froze, bursting the bottles, 
and the precious liquid was left in solid blocks on the straw. 
Even in the day-time the ink froze on the fireplaces and at 
Mess the contents of the cruet bottles were solid ! 

The Cossack officers visited the camp and stayed some 
time. The escorts were on very friendly terms. They were 
Caucasian Cossacks wearing the long Caftan sheepskin 
head-dress, and the formidable Caucasian dagger. Every 
man's dress had to be of the same pattern, but beyond this 
much irregularity was allowed and there was a good deal 
of variation in material and even in colour. 

The men were wiry fellows of moderate height. Looking 
down the line on parade they were not unlike Irish 
" tommies," but here and there could be seen a darker Asiatic 
face. These were usually Mohammedans. Though profes- 
sedly irregulars, the Cossacks were evidently well-trained 
and disciplined soldiers. 

Besides the guardless Cossack sabre they carried Berdan 
rifles in cloth covers with a jagged fringe, after the fashion 
of the pictures one sees of Red Indians. The rifles were 
slung across the back, the muzzle sticking up behind the 
left shoulder. The men were encouraged to ride after pig 
or any other game they might come across, firing from the 


saddle. Their mounts were very useful-looking cobs about 
13.3 to 14 hands with fair shoulders, good loins and back 
ribs, often showing more breeding than might have been 
expected. They could hardly be called ponies but rather 
little horses. Their legs and feet were of the best and all 
were unshod. These little animals seemed able to work 
for an indefinite time on an amount of food that would have 
reduced a " Waler " to skin and bone in a very short time. 
The Cossack saddle is high and the seat is a thick, flat pad 
with the stirrups hung under the middle, not forward as 
ours are. These saddles, I am told, are very comfortable 
to ride on. The rider is placed too high no doubt, but there 
is little fear of the animals getting sore backs from " loung- 
ing " on a long march. 

When a party dismounts the ponies' heads are all tied 
together and so they are left. They neither kick nor bite 
one another nor do they try to bolt ; in fact, they are well- 
behaved, good little beasts. 

Cossacks have no tents or luxuries of that sort, each man 
carries a bourka, a big felt cloak covering the whole person 
down to the heels. The officers have two bourkas, and that 
is the whole covering and camp equipment of their personnel 
on service. The horses have nothing. 

The Cossack race, like most Slavs, is very musical. In 
each squadron certain men are chosen as singers, they sing 
part-songs on the line of march and the others join in chorus. 

These singers are supposed to be especially brave, dashing 
fellows and to be foremost in every service of difficulty or 

The officers of the Cossacks were Cossacks themselves ; 
what in Ireland would, I think, be called " Squireens." It 
was rather amusing to find that they did not call themselves 
Russians. They used to talk of their country, "notre cher 
pays la Petite Rnssie," as something quite distinct from 
Russia itself. 

As they became acquainted with the British officers they 
used to complain, not without reason, of the want of con- 
sideration with which they were treated. Cossacks used to 


be sent out into the empty desert as escort to the " topo- 
graphers " without any provision for their food, or that of 
their horses, beyond what they could get for themselves and 
carry with them on their mounts. Often they were glad to 
make for the nearest British party to get something to eat. 

When the G^mmission camps were near each other it was 
not an uncommon thing for a Cossack officer to go into the 
British mess exclaiming, " What do you think those damned 
Russians have been doing now ? " There would follow a 
tale showing how " the Russians " regarded the Cossacks 
as so much material, human and horseflesh, useful while it 
lasted, but on the conservation of which neither thought 
nor money need be wasted. This seemed to be the spirit 
prevalent in the Russian service, and not confined in its 
application to the Cossacks. An officer, a real Russian, not 
a Cossack, once said, " You have money, we have men, you 
expend your money, we expend our men ; in the long run 
the men will beat the money." 

Conversation among the officers came round frequently 
to the future relations of England and Russia in Asia. All 
the officers, Russians and Cossacks alike, w^ere invariably 
polite and complimentary in speaking of England and the 
British troops. " You fought us in the Crimea," they said, 
" and your men are very fine indeed, while as for the officers, 
the bravery of the British officer has passed into a proverb ! 
But excuse us for saying it, you have really no army to 
fight with. We are a great military nation and can put 
200,000 men into Afghanistan whenever we like. You could 
perhaps put 50,000 and that with difficulty. Really you 
would have no chance." 

As this was literally true no effective reply could be made. 
Little did Russia think at that time the day would come 
when she would have no army at all, as at present, while we 
have an army of some five million. 

Occasionally during these rather dangerous conversations 
some one would feebly say, " But what about our fleet ? " 
The reply was, " Your fleet of course is splendid. You are 
supreme on the seas, but as you found in 1854 your fleet 


can do Russia no real harm ; you cannot even stop our 
trade, which is very largely overland both with Europe 
and Asia." Then they would add, " But after all, dear friend, 
why should we trouble ourselves, Russia and England are not 
going to quarrel. There is room in Asia for both of us," etc. 

The trying part of it all was that the Afghan officials 
grasped the facts quite as well as we did. Indeed all the 
people of the country understood the general situation. 
While the individual Englishman enjoyed an astonishing 
prestige, much more than the individual Russian, it was 
commonly said that the Russians could bring two lakhs of 
men (200,000) against Afghanistan, while the English had 
less than half that number. The non-Afghan naturally 
thought that it would be wiser to keep in with the stronger 
side, while the Afghan idea was that the British Government 
should supply them with the best modern arms and artillery, 
and that they would keep the Russians out. 

Travel opens the mind, and the British officers with the 
Boundary Commission had their complacent satisfaction 
with the power of their own country considerably shaken 
up during the two years they were in Central Asia. 

While the Cossacks were guests in the British Camp they 
expressed the greatest interest in, and admiration for, the 
native troops of the escort. The nth Bengal Lancers 
impressed them considerably. They expected to see a 
squadron of quite irregular horse, rather better than their 
own " jigits," but not as good as the ordinary Cossacks. 
The fine men of the native cavahy, admirably dressed and 
equipped, and excellently mounted, were a revelation. 
" And you say these are not picked men," said one Cossack 
ofiicer ; " why they are fit for the Emperor's guard ! " A 
little show off was evidently considered good for the Russians 
and the next day the infantry had their turn. The tall 
sinewy Pathans of the 20th Punjab Infantry surprised the 
visitors. About fifty men turned out and went through an 
attack for their benefit, a steep hill being the objective. 
Arrived at the bottom bayonets were fixed and the men 
dashed up in a way that surprised even some of the British 


officers looking on. " They sprang up like cats," remarked 
one of the Cossack officers, ''and no doubt they would have 
been as quick if there had been an enemy firing from the 
top." " Even quicker," replied the officer in command, 
" our fellows do not give the enemy much time to shoot 
when it comes to a bayonet charge." 

With the return of spring the demarcation began again, 
but all suffered a good deal from an unexpected blizzard 
which swept over the country and did much damage. The 
snow lay a foot deep at least and the parties who were out 
had a rough time. Animals died from cold and lack of food, 
and the Cossacks were nearly starved. 

About the middle of April, when Easter fell, the British 
and the Russian Commissions were both at Chahar Shamba. 
This time is a great festival with the Russians. I shall refer 
later to their ritual, as it is interesting. In honour of their 
festival the British officers made a formal call on the Russians, 
which the latter returned the next day. This was followed 
by a big twelve o'clock luncheon in the Russian camp. 

The first forty-five miles of the boundary east of the 
Murghab were now settled, and the Amir had expressed 
himself as pleased with matters as far as they had gone. 
Nevertheless, the Russians certainly got the best of the 
agreement, for instead of the boundary being drawn across 
the Karabel plateau giving to the Amir's subjects of the 
Kala Wall and ]\Iaimana districts their own pasture grounds 
and the wells which their fathers had dug, the line was 
taken across and some way down the hollows draining to 
the Kala Wali and Kaisar streams ; so that although the 
people on the Afghan side retained what cultivatable land 
there was, they lost the best grazing grounds. For the 
moment this did not matter, as the Turkomans had carried 
off almost all their sheep, but it would keep them poor in 
the future, while the robbers were the permanent gainers. 

By the beginning of May the Commission had left the 
province of Herat behind them and were well into Afghan 
Turkestan. They were now busy near Andkhui, a poor and 
unhealthy town, settling and demarcating the boundary 


to within thirty miles of the Oxus, where it entered the belt 
of sandy desert which runs for many miles along the south 
bank of the big river, sometimes abutting on it in high 
and steep sandhills, sometimes a mile or two away, but 
always cutting off the alluvial plain of Afghan Turkestan 
from the Oxus waters. Nearly all the wells and grazing 
went to Russian subjects. 

About the middle of June the Commission reached the 
Oxus at a point where it is about a mile wide but full of 
shifting sandbanks like the rivers of the Punjab. In rivers 
of this nature there is always, or nearly always, a fairly deep 
channel somewhere, but the difficulty is to find it, as it is 
constantly shifting. This and the strength of the current 
prevent such streams from being great natural highways 
like the larger rivers of Europe. 

The boundary between Afghanistan and Bokhara was 
clearly marked by an artificial mound or bank and had been 
recognised by both Bokhara and Afghan officials for at 
least a generation. Here then one would have said is a 
boundary over which there can be no dispute, actually 
demarcated, all that the Commission have to do is to put 
up some posts, sign their maps and papers and turn home- 
ward rejoicing. But no — not a bit of it. It was one year 
and a half before that last piece of boundary was settled, 
and an agreement was only reached by our giving up what 
had been obtained before after much argument and delay, 
A good deal of the trouble was caused by the agreement of 
1873 which had been drawn up, at least on the British side, 
by people who evidently knew nothing of the locality and 
can have taken little interest in what they were doing. 

There have been other instances of such agreements in 
the history of British diplomacy. That of the Alaskan 
boundary is a case in point. 

Undoubtedly the Russian Foreign Office in 1873 were 
better versed in the local topography than the British 
diplomatists who signed the agreement, perhaps they had 
been quietly biding their time to spring a little surprise on 
the British Government. At any rate, it was impossible 


to ask the Amir to surrender two-thirds of the river and 
district, paying a large revenue for its size, while the real 
boundary was well known and recognised by the neighbour- 
ing state. So once more the Afghan Frontier which had 
seemed so nearly accomplished came to a standstill. 

The case on both sides with the necessary maps and ex- 
planations were sent to the respective Governments and 
there was another long wait. There was little hope that the 
British view would prevail. The agreement of 1873 gave away 
the case too completely. The Russians were bent on having 
a bit of territory of their own outside the Bokhara boundary 
whereon to place a cantonment. It was obviously to their 
interest to leave the boundary unsettled (and open to encroach- 
ment) rather than to accept the actual and recognised limit. 

The Kilif ferry was included in this claimed country, 
once there had been a bridge, but it had long disappeared, 
like all the Oxus bridges. It is still, however, the principal 
crossing for traffic between Afghanistan and Bokhara. 
The ferry-boats are large and very heavy, and they are 
worked by horses ; usually a pair. They are bridled but 
otherwise have only a surcingle. A rope goes round each 
horse's body over the surcingle and terminates at top in a 
short length of free rope, at the end of which is a loop. At 
the bow of the boat on each gunwale is a stout peg. The 
horses are driven into the water up to their middles and the 
loops are slipped over these pegs. A Turkoman driver in 
the bows flicks up the animals, who plunge for\\ard and 
begin to swim. Their weight being entirely supported by 
the boat all they have to do is to strike out, and the boat 
follows. The driver guides the horses and is not sparing 
of the whip, for the horses, finding themselves supported, 
do not work any harder than they are obliged to. The boat 
is always carried some way down stream by the strong 
current. Arrived on the other side the horses walk through 
the shallow and slack water, pulling the boat on to the 
landing-place. When the load is very heavy a third and 
even a fourth horse is attached in the same way. A small 
boat can be taken across by one horse. 


The Oxus is a desolate river, except the great clumsy 
ferry-boats at Kilif there was not a boat on it of any sort, at 
the time of which I am writing. There was no river trafi&c, 
not even fishing boats. At the back of the British camp 
were high cliffs inhabited by a large colony of choughs, the 
little red-beaked and red-legged crow, a few of which it is 
said are still to be found on the rocky Cornish coast. Their 
cry is rather like that of the rook but more musical and 
reminded the exiles on the Commission of their distant 
homes . 

About the first week in September, Sir West Ridgeway 
learnt that an agreement between the British and Russian 
Governments for the withdrawal of the Commissions had 
been formulated and signed, the last piece of boundary 
being left undefined for the present. 

In a few days Sir West was signing maps and papers with 
Kuhlberg and Lessar, and the Commission finally parted on 
the 13th September, 1886. The British were well on their 
way to Kabul by the end of September. Their route led 
them to the foot of the mighty Hindu Kush, that formidable 
range of about a hundred miles in length. 

This range is crossed by some dozen or so of more or less 
practicable tracks, none of them exactly easy, and one 
cannot fail to be struck if one reads the history of the wars 
of Baber and Himayum by the fact that the armies of those 
days seem to have crossed over and back very frequently. 
The pass crossed by the Commission was over 13,000 feet. 
The crossing of the range is generally accomplished in three 
or four marches. On a certain spot on one of the passes 
not far from the summit the glen opens a little at the mouth 
of a lateral ravine, which is a natural camping place, but 
seldom used as such. It is well known as Hindu Kushtak, 
signifying the " Death place of the Hindu." Tradition 
asserts that here at a time long past an army from India 
perished in the snow, and this spot gives its name to the 
whole range. 

Three or four more marches took the Commission to Kabul, 
well remembered by most of the officers and escort, who had 


been there under quite different circumstances only six 
years before. This time they were entertained by the 
Kabul Garrison. There was a review of the Afghan troops 
and a formal Durbar at which the Amir made a speech. 
In it he emphasised what the French would call the " solid- 
arity " of Afghanistan and the British power. Amongst the 
native officers with the Commission were three or four 
Afghans, one of them being a near relative of the Amir 
himself. They were all distinguished in their degree and 
of imimpeachable loyalty to the Government they had 
elected to serve. After a few days in Kabul the Commis- 
sion begun their last long march of about one hundred and 
ninety miles to Peshawar, where they arrived on Novem- 
ber 1st. The whole garrison was turned out to line the 
roads for a couple of miles before reaching cantonments. 
The troops presented arms, bands played " The Conquer- 
ing Hero," the General and his staff were all in their glory. 
The whole station turned out to welcome the returned 

Everything possible was done to honour the Commission 
and to give its return the aspect of a triumph, which no 
doubt was right and politic, though the measure of success 
it had attained was not really very triumphant. Perhaps it 
was felt necessary to rejoice that matters were no worse ! 

All now dispersed, some back to their posts, others home. 
Sir West Ridgeway started for England at once to rejoin 
his pretty wife and little daughter, both of whom he found 
down with scarlet fever in LowTides Square, and he was not 
allowed to see them until he had made his salaam to Queen 
Victoria at Windsor. 

Although the great Boundary Commission had come to 
an end, the demarcation had not, but the Government were 
anxious to get the matter finally closed. It was arranged 
that a conference should take place at St. Petersburg (not 
then called Petrograd), and in March, 1887, negotiations 
were resumed. Sir West Ridgeway was deputed by the 
British Government. The conference ended in a compro- 
mise, which is interesting but would take too long if entered 


into in detail, but which may at any moment be of the 
utmost importance. 

And so ends the story of the Russo-Afghan boundary for 
the present. Sir West signed the final agreement at St. 
Petersburg giving the Sariks of Panjdeh (now Russian 
subjects) all the land that could possibly be claimed for 
them and the entire possession of the channels by which 
these lands were irrigated. This certainly eliminated 
various possible causes of friction, and this was regarded, 
not unjustly perhaps, as some set-off against the abandon- 
ment of so much territory. 

Looking back at the demarcated boundary as a whole it 
is obvious that it is entirely wanting in one essential, the 
element of permanence. It is entirely indefensible. Whether 
after the occupation of Merv by Russia and having regard 
to all the circumstances of the case any possible boundary 
would have been to any great degree stronger than the 
present it is useless now to enquire. The fact remains that 
half Afghanistan is at the mercy of the possible enemy. 
Nor can any application of military force imaginable at 
the present moment adequately provide for its protection. 
This is a discomfiting truth and far as Central Asia is now 
from the public mind it should not be entirely forgotten. 

Geographically the boundary is purely artificial. It is 
marked by no natural features and is as complicated as any 
boundary between two rural estates dovetailing into each 
other. Ethnographically it certainly does divide the Turko- 
men from the Herati, Afghan and Usbeg subjects of the 
Amir of Kabul. But this might have been obtained by 
turning out the Sarik interlopers and preserving the natural, 
simple, and, to a certain degree, safer boundary of the desert. 

While recognising the defects of the boundary, no possible 
blame can be attached to those responsible for the actual 
demarcation, for Sir West Ridgeway and his assistants 
grappled manfully with a most difficult and dispiriting task 
requiring endless patience and diplomatic skill. The fault 
lay with the Government of the day in thrusting out the 
Commission into the wilderness without a clear understand- 


ing as to the general lie of the boundary they were expected 
to demarcate. 

The second great mistake seems to have lain in directing 
the Afghan authorities to send troops and guns to Panjdeh 
as if the boundary was to be settled by military means. 
For this Sir Peter Lumsden was responsible. 

It is to be hoped that when the inevitable adjustment of 
frontiers takes place after Peace is signed the mistakes of 
1873 and 1884 will be avoided. 

No matter how completely Germany and Austria may 
be defeated in this war the Prussian poison has penetrated 
too deeply into the German mind to be eradicated by even 
severe reverses. No real Frenchman ever gave up the idea 
of the revanche against Germany, and no real German will 
ever give up the idea of retaliation against his present 
enemies, especially against England. If Russia finally 
crystallises into a cluster of independent or semi-independent 
states, Germany from her geographical position and in- 
herited advantages will certainly have at least as much 
influence in these separate entities as she has had heretofore 
in Russia as a whole, and probably much more so. This 
influence will be directed against England commercially, 
politically and militarily. What better or safer way of 
harassing England than by egging on Russia to penetrate 
into Afghanistan ? 

When that moment an^ives few men will be found with 
so accurate a knowledge of the country as Sir West Ridge- 
way, who is a clever man with a very retentive memory 
and is a diplomatist to his finger tips, with a wonderful 
record of a busy and eventful life. 

When first I knew him he was Captain Ridgeway, a 
young man full of ambition and unswerving purpose. He 
meant to make a name for himself and quickly did so, 
beginning with his appointment as Political Secretary to 
Lord Roberts in 1879-80, and did good work for him 
throughout the Afghan War. Following this, he became 
Under-Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign 
Department and took Sir Peter Lumsden 's place in Her 



Majesty's Commission for fixing the Afghan Frontier about 
which I have been writing ; after which he was sent to 
St. Petersbm-g on special diplomatic duty, and for the final 
signing and sealing of the Boundary Agreement. 

After the murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish he was 
sent to Ireland as Under-Secretary, and I knew he was 
going before he knew it himself ; at least I knew it was 
going to be offered to him. This was during the time Mr. 
A. J. Balfour was Chief Secretary for Ireland, and the 
Londonderrys were at the Viceregal Lodge, which was rather 
curious as the first Earl of Londonderry about 1565 was 
Sir Thomas Ridgeway, from whom the present Sir West 
Ridge way is descended. 

In 1892 when Ireland was a little more tranquil. Sir West 
was sent as Envoy Extraordinary to the Sultan of Morocco, 
expecting to return to Ireland when he had accomplished 
his task, but instead of this he was made Governor of the 
Isle of Man in 1893, and remained there until 1895. From 
there he went to Ceylon, being appointed Governor and 
Commander-in-Chief, and to this day he is there spoken of 
as " the most popular Governor Ceylon has ever seen." 
The tea planters tell me his name is still a tradition in that 

In 1906 he was appointed Chairman of Committee of 
Constitution Enquiry of Transvaal and Orange River 
Colonies, since which time he has devoted his energies to 
business in the City. He is a man of too active a brain to 
be idle. Lady Ridgeway, who was my sister, was a very 
pretty woman but rather delicate. Had she been able to 
choose her own mode of life she would never have left Eng- 
land, being a very stay-at-home person and loving the 
comforts of life. She always dreaded leaving the old country, 
but was a devoted wife and very proud of her husband, 
taking a great interest and pleasure in helping him with his 

Having a nice little fortune of her own she was able to 
help materially, as well as with her gentle tact, for it is a 
recognised fact that these Governorships though they sound 


as if the remuneration was satisfactory, seldom cover, 
by a long way, the expenses involved in entertaining, etc. 
Such a number of people are sent out from home with in- 
troductions, or what I call " soup tickets," which means 
the Governor and his wife have to entertain them. I always 
think that though she had every good thing of this world 
lavished on her, and the tender love of her husband and 
daughter, the strain of constant entertaining and the amount 
of thought required to make everything work smoothly 
told upon her health. 

After the visit of our present King and Queen to them in 
Ceylon she wTote to me that she was always feeling tired, 
and she never spared herself. The sick always appealed 
to her, as they do to all who know what ill-health means ; 
she was a constant visitor amongst them, and after she 
died in 1907 a hospital was built and endowed to her memory 
by the people of Ceylon. 

She left one daughter, the present Mrs. Edward Tolle- 
mache, whose husband in the Coldstream Guards has seen 
much service during the Great War. 

Writing of the London derrys recalls many memories 
of that family. The late Lady Theresa Londonderry was a 
beautiful, dignified, clever and versatile woman, interested 
in all things and clever at most. At the time her husband 
was Lieutenant-Governor of Ireland she was in the zenith 
of her beauty and was a popular vicereine, though the 
time they went to the Viceregal Lodge was not an inviting 
moment, for the Land Leaguers, Parnellites, and a fair 
sprinkling of English Liberals had set themselves the task 
of making the Government of Ireland under the Union a 
difficult if not impossible undertaking. 

At all times a keen politician and full of interest in life 
she set herself steadily to work in support of Mr. Balfour, 
at that time Chief Secretary for Ireland, and he found in her 
a real helpmate. Several of her characteristics appealed 
to the Irish. First and foremost she was a sportswoman, 
and the Irish love a sportsman or sportswoman. They also 
love wit and a good-tempered argument, in both of which 



she excelled. Although a strong Conservative of the old 
school, she could argue well and wittily with a red-hot 
Radical without becoming in the least ruffled. She knew 
what she was talking about, and, owing to her tact and fore- 
sight, her opinions carried some weight. 

As a hostess she was great, whether in her own house or 
her Court, and nobody knew better how to maintain the 
dignity of the latter. At times perhaps she was a trifle 
imperious. But one of the truest friends man or woman 
ever had if she liked them. 

Her sense of humour made her an entertaining companion 
and she enjoyed telling a story against herself, which is not 
a common characteristic. 

Here is one over which she always laughed : 
After having as the Queen's representative received the 
curtseys of hundreds attending her courts and at times 
having been amused at some of the curious exhibitions 
made by the nervous, or those unaccustomed to the art of 
making Court curtseys and retiring gracefully crab fashion, 
she, when in Dublin, in the usual course of events, went 
to make her curtsey to Lady Zetland who had succeeded 
her. To her horror for some unaccountable reason when 
she entered the room and stood where so many had curtsied 
to her, she had a sort of side-slip at the crucial moment 
when she swooped gracefully to the ground, and losing her 
balance sat down abruptly — altogether a most undignified 
obeisance ! 
Another of her stories, but not against herself this time : 
A young and devoted newly married couple were staying 
at a certain seaside place on the East Coast when an air raid 
occurred in the middle of the night. They dared not strike 
a light and the husband jumped out of bed and began 
scrambling into his clothes telling his wife to make haste, 
do the same and follow him into the cellar. The husband 
quickly dressed and made his exit, his wife feverishly 
searched for her garments, but could not find all she wanted. 
Presently the anxious husband returned and implored her 
to make haste and come into safety. She explained there 


was nothing she would like better, but unfortunately she 
could not find her combinations. He said, " Never mind, 
come without them," and she did. 

When the raid was over and the glass and chimney pots 
had ceased flying about, another lengthy search (this time 
by daylight) was made for the missing garment, but it was 
never found until — her husband undressed ! 

She was a plucky woman. I remember staying at Wyn- 
yard when a child, soon after she married Lord Castlereagh. 
We children were playing hide-and-seek in the grounds and 
she came and joined us. While hiding we came upon an 
unfortunate cat in a trap amongst the bushes. It was 
caught by the leg and though looking horribly draggled 
and exhausted, it commenced going round and round like 
a Catherine-wheel when it saw us. 

Calling to our governess, who was standing in a path near, 
to bring her umbrella that she was carrying. Lady Castle- 
reagh at once armed with this weapon of defence proceeded 
to try and get her foot upon the trap and release the cat. 

It is never an easy matter to liberate an animal from a 
trap owing to their fright, struggles and pain. Even a pet 
in its anguish will turn on one ; cats have less understanding 
in these matters than dogs, they always seem to think you 
have come to make matters worse instead of better. 

Our governess tearfully implored Lady Castlereagh to 
come away, for if the cat bit and scratched her she would 
surely go mad. No notice was taken of this, but opening the 
umbrella very gently and quietly she held it in front of her 
but low on the ground so as to prevent the cat swinging 
round, and, putting her foot on the trap, the poor little 
animal was set free, it hobbled away on three legs. We 
then went for milk to try and entice her cat to come and be 
taken care of, but when we returned she was nowhere to 
be seen. 

I remember the then reigning Lady Londonderry, grand- 
mother of the present Marquis, being very angry at the trap 
having been set, as they were forbidden in the grounds. 

After Lady Castlereagh became Lady Londonderry her 

Photo by L'lfayette. Dub/in 



parties in Park Lane were amongst the chief events of the 
season. She was a favourite with our Royalties and they 
often stayed with her and Lord Londonderry in Yorkshire. 

Her gaiety and brightness were infectious, the way she 
would keep a room full of deadly political foes happy and 
amused was a lesson in tact. 

I think at one time she found a little difficulty in casting 
the mantle of exclusiveness that was de rigueur when first 
she began entertaining, but she was in no way snobbish. 

Latterly she made friends amongst all classes. Without 
ever being ill-natured she had a happy knack of taking off 
people's little peculiarities, in a way nobody resented. She 
was too full of interests to be petty. Her infectious gaiety 
and enjoyment of life were very pleasing. She loved society 
and interesting people : and she loved piloting herself alone 
in her little yacht at Mount Stewart on the water amongst 
the little islands. 

Her knowledge of racing and horse-breeding was ex- 
ceptional. When at the beginning of the war the Govern- 
ment thought all racing and horse-breeding should be sus- 
pended sine die and a number of the racing fraternity though 
grumbling amongst themselves took it lying down, not so 
Lady Londonderry, she bitterly resented it, and spoke 
strongly on the subject at Tattersalls. Her arguments 
were logical and sound. She was a fluent speaker and an 
omnivorous reader, loving books of all sorts and kinds, 
most kind and appreciative to me over mine, saying how 
she enjoyed them and telling me to " Make haste and write 

I had arranged last December to write her own reminis- 
cences, and she was going to help me with some dates and 
facts I wanted concerning her son's and her late husband's 
industrial interests, for another book I am writing ; she was 
keen about both and shortly before she died telegraphed, 
" Do come Lumley Castle Wednesday 19th to discuss 
plans." A little later she thought it would be better not 
to publish her reminiscences until after her death : little 
thinking, either of us, how soon that was to be. For, as all 


the world knows, she died after only a few days' illness on 
Sunday morning, March the 23rd, 1919. Society has lost 
a great leader and those she cared for a loyal friend. 

She was exceedingly proud of, and devoted to her son, 
the present Marquis, and during his absence at the front, 
where, with the Household Cavalry, he has been doing his 
bit, his mother attended most ably to his business interests, 
as well as everything connected with his racing stable. 

The Irish estates of the Londonderrys are in Ulster, and 
the late Lord Londonderry, husband of Theresa, was a 
strong opponent to the inclusion of Ulster in the Home Rule 
Bill. I think the favourite home of the Londonderrys was 
Wynyard Park, and I am not surprised, for in the first place 
it is the ancestral home, and stands in beautiful grounds. 
The avenue is long and the park well and nobly timbered. 
On the north front of the house is the main entrance, which 
is covered by a portico of lofty and massive Corinthian 
columns. The entrance hall is large and lofty and the roof 
is supported by marble columns. Passing through a very 
fine doorway with jasper pilasters and Corinthian cornices 
the statuary gallery is reached which used to impress me 
so much when a child. It is one hundred and twenty feet 
long, eighty feet wide and sixty-four feet high. Round the 
walls of this gallery, where we used to play hide-and-seek, 
are forty-eight columns of jasper, at the base of each being 
some fine piece of statuary representing classical and 
mythological subjects, as well as marble busts of the Vane- 
Tempest-Stewart family and their distinguished friends. 
From this gallery open out different suites of rooms. In 
the dining-room are some of the finest of the family portraits. 
Specially interesting is the handsome medieval room 
dedicated to the memory of Charles William Vane, third 
Marquis of Londonderry. It is fitted with cases containing 
his medals, military and civil honours. Here also is the 
historical table on which the great transactions of 1814 
and 1815 were arranged, and on which the Treaties of 
Vienna and Paris were signed by the plenipotentiaries of 
the Congress of Vienna, which gave peace to Europe. The 

Phc.'r hy f.a/ayttte, Dublin 



inkstand used on these occasions is also there. Amongst a 
number of other interesting things is the trowel with which 
the third Marquis laid the foundation-stone of Seaham 
Harbour, and the spade with which he cut the first sod 
of the railway between Seaham and Sunderland. 

The view from the terrace on the south side of the house 
is charming, overlooking a fine lake crossed by an artistic 
and dainty suspension bridge which stands between the 
house and a fine old grassy park studded with grand old 
trees. The park is surrounded by miles of plantations and 
woods, well peopled by small birds and game. I have also 
seen an occasional wild deer there. 

The list of famous persons' signatures in the family 
visitors' book is legion, and an hour or two passes quickly 
before half have been studied. Royalties of all sorts and 
kinds, the Duke of Wellington, Louis Napoleon Emperor 
of the French, and more recently Sir Robert Peel, Disraeli, 
Mr. A. J. Balfour, Sir Edward Carson and countless others. 

Wynyard stands midway between Darlington and Stock- 
ton-on-Tees. It came into the Londonderry family through 
the alliance of Frances Anne Vane Tempest with Charles 
William Lord Stewart, subsequently third Marquis of 
Londonderry and first Earl Vane. The branch of the Vane 
family from which Frances Anne Lady Stewart sprang 
settled at Longnewton, half-way between Darlington and 
Stockton, in the 17th century. The first of the Vanes to 
settle there was Sir George, second surviving son of Sir 
Henry Vane the elder, of Fair lawn and Hadlow in Kent, 
and of Raby Castle in Durham County, who was Secretary 
of State to King Charles the First. 

Henry Vane the younger was brother to Sir George Vane, 
and was M.P. for Hull in 1670. He took an active part 
against the Loyalists, but he displeased Cromwell and was 
sent in disgrace to Carisbrooke Castle. He afterwards tried 
to found a Republican form of Government, but after the 
Restoration he was executed on Tower Hill. He has been 
described as " one of the greatest and purest men that ever 
walked the earth." 


This was the character of the brother of Sir George Vane 
of Longnewton and ancestor of the great -grandmother of 
the present Marquis of Londonderry. 

The Frances Anne of ^^'hom I have been writing was 
Countess of Antrim in her own right. She married in 1819 
Charles Wilham Lord Stewart, a man of remarkable char- 
acter. He was Adjutant -General to the Duke of Wellington 
and was a brave and brilliant soldier, probably the most 
brilliant cavalry officer of the day, but when he laid down 
his sword he became one of the greatest pioneers of industrial 
enterprise in the North of England. 

He founded the town and docks of Seaham Harbour, a 
huge undertaking for one man. He also opened and de- 
veloped large colliery undertakings in Durham County 
which belonged to his wife. 

She ably seconded him in his bold commercial enterprises, 
and thus started the business side of the Londonderry 

The Londonderrys own 50,000 acres, much of it carrying 
an industrial population. The late Lady Londonderry 
took great interest in the welfare of all the workers. It is 
difhcult to appreciate the unique position of the London- 
derry family in the North-East without having lived up 
there. The influence they carry is enormous and their 
generosity is traditional. 

The grandmother of the present Lord Londonderry was 
a great favourite of Queen Victoria's, and once when there 
seemed every likelihood of a great scandal in a well-known 
family more or less mixed up with the Court, the Queen 
sent her favourite to say she hoped that no steps would be 
taken that would be painful to her as she would be much 

Dear old Lady Londonderry tried to hush everything up 
and succeeded in avoiding an open scandal, at any rate ; 
I remember she was horribly scandalised herself over the 
disclosures that came to her ears. She was a good woman 
with a particularly nice mind. 


The Russians at home — Surprising customs — Bathroom scenes — 
And etiquettes — Fresh air charged for in the bill^ — A nourishing 
smell — Ritual during Easter festival — The Tsarevitch crieS' — 
His illness — A little known medical fact — Seething discontent 
— Every Russian an anarchist — Prince Yousupoflf at Oxford — 
His motor-car — Bulldogs and parrots — Feted in Petrograd 
— Peter the Great's gold ducats — His reforms wise and unwise 
— His statue at Petrograd — His so-called will — " The Polish 
Question " — Bismarck's fear of Polish women — Frederick the 
Great admires them — Poland's artistic temperament — No 
middle classes — No half-measures — A loathing of trade. 

THE Russians are interesting people and I have been 
surprised to find how Httle man}^ educated folk 
know of what I call the domestic side of their lives 
and the part they have played in the drama we call life. 
It is like a wondrous fairy-tale. 

A friend when talking to me a short time ago said, 
" Tell me some more about the everyday life of the Russians. 
You interest me. I always looked upon them as morbid 
savages." I suggested, if she had any spare time a 
little study of Russian history would be a good beginning ; 
she replied, " Oh, I know all they tell me in the standard 
works on Russia, all about Peter the Great, Catherine and 
politics, that is not what I want to hear about, but just the 
everyday happenings of which you have been speaking." 

And when I told another friend of mine who has held 
an important position in Russia for a number of years that 
I was writing a little about that country in a book, he 
remarked, " Bear in mind that everything you say will be 
flatly contradicted by someone who is convinced he knows 
more about Russia than you do. I find a number of people 
who have never been in the country know much more about 
the Russian mode of life, their hopes and fears than I do. 


who have Uved in the country for years, speaking their 
language as well as my own, and, in consequence of my 
work, in constant and intimate touch with them." 

I felt a little depressed, but forewarned is forearmed 
and I am buckling on my armour. 

Some of the things I have lately read in books written by 
Russians about themselves have surprised me. In one I 
find the announcement that the late Prince Alexis Dol- 
gorouki married a Miss Fleetwood Seymour or some such 
name. The lady happens to be a friend of mine and her 
maiden name was Miss Fleetwood Wilson. In another book 
written by a Russian, or a man who also evidently knov^-s 
Russia well, says, that the peasants seldom put on clean 
clothes after their weekly bath. This is not in accordance 
with my knowledge of the Russian peasant. I should have 
said that they habitually carried a small bundle with them 
containing a change of linen and a clean handkerchief to 
put over their heads after bathing. 

There are many customs in Russia that are surprising to 
new-comers in that land. One of the most surprising to the 
English mind being their system of cleansing themselves, 
there is a very marked difference between their ideas of 
decency and ours. Bathrooms in private houses or apart- 
ments are not a common practice, are, in fact, regarded as 
rather extravagant luxuries ; while to put on a bathing 
dress would be regarded as a sure sign that there was 
something abnormal to conceal. 

All, both young and old, go to public baths for a scrub 
once a week ; there are grades of baths ranging from first 
class to fourth class, much after the fashion of our public 
baths in London and elsewhere, only in the Russian baths 
there is no sort of privacy. 

A general dressing or undressing room is provided, from 
which all emerge perfectly naked and enter the hot bath- 
room enveloped in clouds of steam. Here all sit on sort of 
shelves with a gently sloping floor, while buckets of water 
are thrown over them, and all in turn are well scrubbed 
by an equally naked old woman with a scrubbing-brush. 


There is no opportunity of sitting in a nice warm bath, it 
being considered a very dirty trick to wash in standing water. 

Some very quaint scenes may be witnessed in these baths. 
A stately old lady when last seen outside all pompadour and 
brocades enters the bathroom amidst the splashing and 
steam. A little stripling of say sixteen comes in, recognises 
her friend of the brocades and makes her a nude little curtsey. 
It aU seems so like a nightmare, and unreal. 

A little friend of mine having tried the higher-grade 
baths, thought she would like to sample the fourth class, 
she was heartily welcomed and asked to " come and wash 
again " with them. 

The shelves in these bathrooms rise higher and higher 
and of course become hotter and hotter, this seems to quite 
upset some people's mental balance, and they end in whip- 
ping themselves with birch rods, becoming really a form of 

The picture of one of these bathrooms packed with all 
sorts and sizes of naked human beings, some sitting on 
perches being scrubbed by naked old women, others higher 
up beating themselves for pleasure, all enveloped in clouds 
of steam, is most weird, more like Dante's Inferno than any- 
thing else one can think of. 

It is the work of the Council that there are proper baths 
in villages, isolation hospitals, etc., and not the work of the 

Another thing that strikes one as unusual on arrival in 
Russia is that they do not make their beds in the morning 
the way we do. All the bed-clothes are folded up and put 
away until required again at night. Meanwhile the bed 
has a day-time drapery. 

In winter, windows are sealed up, and if any visitor 
hiring apartments, or staying in hotels, wishes for fresh air 
they are made to pay for it in the bill, the eccentricity of 
wanting fresh air is not to be encouraged. And when the 
windows are fastened up for the winter, allowing no chink 
to ventilate the room, having the windows opened causes 
considerable annoyance. 


Drainage is conspicuous by its absence. The poor people 
throw everything they want to get rid of outside their door ; 
tea leaves, vegetable refuse and greasy odds and ends from 
their cooking all hobnob together in heaps. When frozen in 
winter, this is all very well, but in the spring the smell is 
overpowering and pestilential. I was told once it was 
" very nourishing " ! 

Like the birds, the Russians make love in the spring, 
but are unlike them in the date of their weddings, for the 
Russians do not marry until the autumn ; when there is 
much feasting lasting for three days, usually accompanied 
with a good deal of drinking. They have no half-way house 
like our registry offices. Everything is done in the most 
orthodox manner. 

They are a pleasure-loving people, with them it is wine, 
woman, and song, but they are very particular about 
their religious observances. On their railway stations 
altars are to be found with lighted tapers, and services 
being held amidst all the hurly-burly and hurry of travel. 
Indeed, they are held on all sorts of occasions, such as open- 
ing a school, christening an engine and such like things. 
All men remove their hats when passing a church and every 
house possesses an ikon. Russians have been known to 
refuse to enter a house that did not own one. Every Russian 
possesses an ikon or icon as it is sometimes spelt, the proper 
pronunciation being as if spelt with two e's, thus eekon 
the accent on the first two letters. 

The religion of these people is a very real part of their 
lives, their faith, or perhaps I should say the official religion 
of the majority is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church. 
The Eastern and CathoUc Churches separated in the ninth 
century, the Russian Church then in its infancy followed 
its patriarch, Pholinos of Constantinople. The doctrine 
of the Eastern Church is much the same as the Catholic 
except for the Papal Infallibility and the Filioque clause 
of the Nicene Creed, but their rites arc different ; they have 
no organs in their churches, the singing is quite unaccom- 
panied and very beautiful — their services are attractive 


and associated with a good deal of ritual and gorgeous 
vestments. The priests are the least attractive part, they 
wear long hair, long robes and are mostly dirty. But there 
are exceptions : the chaplain, for example, of the Anglo- 
Russian Hospital in Petrograd, an ex-guardsman, good-look- 
ing, tall, clean and impressive. It is most unusual to find 
an ex-guardsman in that capacity, as the priesthood generally 
runs in families and they intermarry keeping up an ever- 
running sort of coterie emphasising their peculiarities. 

The Easter midnight service is full of dignity and stateli- 
ness ; once witnessed not readily forgotten. All who attend 
it wear their best bibs and tuckers, full evening dress, 
diamonds, etc., arriving in opera cloaks and usually leaving 
them at the door until the service is over. Two hours is the 
average time this service takes, and the congregations stand, 
each holding a lighted candle from the beginning to the end 
of the service. It is the custom to carry the candle home if 
possible without its going out, for if that is achieved it is 
supposed to secure them a happy year. 

Another curious custom during the Easter service is that 
as soon as the priest announces " Christ is risen," and the 
response "He is indeed risen " is given, then all present 
kiss one another three times in honour of the Trinity. 
Indeed during the whole of Eastertide it is quite custom- 
ary for perfect strangers to kiss one another saying, " Christ 
is risen." 

This same Easter midnight service takes place in the 
Russian church in Welbeck Street ; all attend in full evening 
dress, the women wear neither hats nor veils, and all hold 
the lighted candle aheady described. 

People who are unacquainted with these Russian rites 
and ceremonies might feel surprised when returning from 
some party in the early morning if they met some of these 
devout people endeavouring to keep a naked candle alight 
in their hands, might even be inclined to judge them harshly, 
also if a stranger walked up to them, kissed them three 
times and said, " Christ is risen." 

The Russian marriage service is also interesting, though 


trying for the best man and chief bridesmaid, as it is 
part of their duty to hold a heavy metal crown, the property 
of the church, over the heads of the pair being united and, 
as they process round the church ; it is tiring and an office 
not to be lightly undertaken even in moments of effusive 

The Russian considers the man who is not orthodox is 
not a Russian ; with them all must be one of two things, 
orthodox or heathen. 

The community in Russia is divided into peasants, 
citizens and nobles — officers rank as nobles. To our English 
way of thinking a peasant means a country labouring man, 
but in Russia a peasant may be anything from a smart 
young man with scented handkerchiefs and long hair to a 
daily labourer. 

It is superstition and ignorance that have kept the people 
slaves for so long, but they are awakening, though possibly 
still betwixt waking and sleeping, that hour when we see 
things we cannot grasp, but war unmasks the souls of men. 

I think the individual that was the most to be pitied of the 
Russian Royal Family before the Revolution, was the poor 
little Tsarevitch ; all the mischief in Russia seemed to 
circle round that tragic youth s head ; he had to suffer for 
the mistakes and sins of many, in fact, he was the thumb- 
screw by which the Court intriguers coerced his parents. 

Just before the Revolution the poor youth was observed 
to be crying and his grand uncle Nicholas asked the reason, 
receiving the reply, " It is so sad at home now, if the Ger- 
mans have a victory father cries, and if the Russians have 
a success mother cries." 

Perhaps the Revolution is the best thing that could have 
happened for him. 

The majority of people know the Tsarevitch was very 
delicate, and that it was in consequence of this that Ras- 
putin, that prince of spies, obtained such a footing in the 
Royal household, for he professed to be able to cure the 
boy's malady. That is old history now, and probably a 
number of people know that the illness from which the 


Tsarevitch suffered is haemophilia — a tendency to excessive 
bleeding — a not uncommon complaint. 

We often hear of boys having their teeth out and there 
being difficulty in stopping the bleeding, where there is 
this tendency even a slight cut on a finger may prove fatal. 
I believe this is hereditary, but have not been able to trace 
it back any distance in the Tsarevitch case. But there is 
one very curious feature about this haemophilia which is 
little known except to scientific medical men, namely, it 
is never transmitted from the male side, but always through 
the female, though she herself never suffered from it. That 
is to say a man may marry and have children, say a girl and 
a boy. The boy marries and his children do not suffer from 
this bleeding. The girl marries, she does not suffer from it, 
but her son does. 

There is only one drug known at present, I believe, that 
stops the bleeding — with luck ! That is to say, if anything 
wiU arrest the flow, it is calcium chloride. 

That Rasputin had a useful knowledge of drugs and their 
properties may account for some of his miraculous cures. 

It has always seemed to me that the wonderment of the 
whole story was, not that there was anything very astonish- 
ing about the " holy man " but rather the disgraceful state 
of Russian society, corrupt, intriguing and depraved ; had 
the atmosphere been different about the Court and the 
aristocracy, a coarse-minded, coarse-tongued, illiterate 
charlatan would never for a moment have been tolerated. 
It was high time they were all swept away. A good spring 
cleaning was necessary beyond all doubt. 

We are all sick to death of Rasputin, but a friend who has 
been for years in Russia amused me not long ago with a 
story of the man. It appears that the spy occasionally 
dined not wisely but too well, when he was apt to give away 
some of his horrible and disgusting secrets. Once he went 
to a Russian priest and told him the Virgin Mary had ap- 
peared to him in the night telling him certain things were 
going to happen within a given time, I forget what the 
certain thing was but remember it had something to do 


with the Tsarevitch. The priest listened with apparent 
interest, then said in reply : 

" Really ! how strange ; I also had a visit from the Virgin 
Mary last night, she appeared to me and said, ' If you see 
that rascal Rasputin anywhere about, kick him.' " 

The " holy man " did not wait for this assistance to his 

The man had a curious trick of being able to dilate the 
pupils of his eyes at pleasure. It was most uncanny. I 
dislike all these freakish things. I once knew a man who 
could make his ears go up and down without any visible 
effort, and another the scalp of his head. 

I wish they would not — the wind might change one day 
while doing it, as our nurses used to tell us might happen, 
when we were children, and we were making faces. They 
would be sorry then, for so they would have to remain for 
the rest of their lives — at least, so our nurse said. 

In a leading magazine I read very shortly before the 
Revolution that such a thing was impossible in Russia, and 
giving as one reason for having arrived at this conclusion 
that " the Army would never allow it." These wiseacres 
must have been unable to read " the writing on the wall " ; 
for it was an open secret before the war that a revolution 
was inevitable, the only question being whether it should 
take place before the Armageddon or after. 

Anyone sta^dng or travelling in Russia must have been 
struck with the seething discontent discernible everywhere, 
and to the observant it was a matter of wonderment that 
all had held together for so long. Soldiers openly expressed 
hatred of their officers and at times refused even to salute 
them, indeed, if we may believe what we are told on good 
authority, some of the most unpopular officers were put out 
of the way. 

There was a certain faction who greatly admired German 
disciplinary methods, and so far from the Army preventing 
a Revolution it has been a military climax. 

There had been for long grave dissatisfaction over the 
Court appointments, many being in the hands of Germans 


which could and should have been filled by Russian 

It was no use the Russians with great loyal hearts writing 
and expressing the belief that the Tsar was greatly beloved 
by the people ; he may have been once ; but for long he 
was hated and regarded as a weak fool entirely under the 
influence of his unpopular German wife, she in turn being 
under the influence of that disgusting individual Rasputin, 
who was in the pay of the Germans. 

The people naturally became exasperated, resenting the 
undoubted influence of the Tsaritza over her husband ; 
for instance, if the Duma were holding a debate of which 
the Empress did not approve, or the subjects under discus- 
sion were not being handled to her satisfaction, she made 
the Tsar have the doors closed and the assembly dismissed 
— protest being useless. 

In most countries there are no doubt a certain number of 
anarchists, but every Russian is at heart an anarchist. There 
is anarchy everywhere, it is in the atmosphere. 

The Rasputin affair is almost forgotten now, but many 
English people were surprised on hearing that handsome 
and charming Prince Felix Yousupoff, otherwise known as 
Count Soumarokoff-Elston, was implicated with the Grand 
Duke Paolovitch in the murder, or " execution " I believe 
they called it, of Rasputin. 

It seems incredible that Prince Yousupoff, who had been 
educated in England at one of our public schools and at 
Oxford, speaking our language perfectly and with all the 
finishing touches and polish of our present-day civilisation, 
should have been if not the actual murderer, at any rate 
an accessory. 

The Prince is a very handsome man, tall, well set up, 
brown - haired, blue -eyed, and clean-shaven. He gave 
pleasant little parties when at Oxford. A friend of mine 
who went on the stage and used to dance with Madame 
Pavlova accompanied that lady to luncheon with him when 
at the University ; the chief impressions left on her mind 
were the Prince's good looks, and the number of bulldogs 


and parrots in his rooms. The car in which he drove his 
guests was most luxurious, amongst other unusual fittings 
there was a bed ! 

Yousupoff is not a Royal Prince, but by courtesy, and he is 
one of the richest men in Russia, owning many houses and 

WTien last I heard of him he was in mufti in Petrograd, 
this was an unusual sight, I doubt if many people in Russia 
possess such a thing, uniform being almost universal, even 
little boys wear it in some form. 

The night after Rasputin met his death Prince Yousupoff 
was in Petrograd being carried shoulder high, cheered and 
pelted with flowers by w^ay of congratulation for having 
released Russia from the machinations of the rascal. 

Petrograd, the official capital of Russia, is quite unlike 
Moscow ; the latter is a commercial town, the former is full 
of handsome government buildings painted quaintly in 
yellow and black. The Admiralty, where the Duma sat, 
has a wonderful fine delicate spire fairly high and curiously 
glittering. Few people know that this brilliancy is caused 
by gilding of real gold made from melted ducats brought 
from Holland by that remarkable self-made, self-taught 
man Peter the Great, whose love for, and teaching of, the 
simple life still lives amongst the peasants to-day, though 
perhaps they do not eat with their fingers as their great 
ruler did ! 

Peter was great in many ways, but he was not always wise, 
at least looking at some of his reforms we can clearly see 
how they have been instrumental in the discontent which 
has led to the present chaos ; he it was who stocked Russia 
with Germans. He greatly admired their methods and 
enterprise, being especially interested in their scientific 
agriculture ; thinking it would be good for his people to 
progress in this direction, he invited some, and engaged 
others, to come to Russia with the view of teaching the 
peasants, and explaining the use of their labour-saving 
machinery, etc. 

The Germans came, settled themselves comfortably and 


remained as farmers, the Russians working for them, but 
learning nothing more than they could pick up for them- 
selves ; the new arrivals keeping almost exclusively to 
themselves. These farmers remained Germans at heart 
and named their settlements with such appellations as Lust- 
dorp, Lidienthal, etc., keeping up all German customs 
and institutions as well as intermarrying with colonists 
and emigrants of their own nationality. 

This reform is bearing fruit to-day. It did not take the 
Germans long to see in the undeveloped country plenty of 
scope for industrious foreigners. 

Another of Peter the Great's unwise reforms was making 
St. Petersburg into the capital of the country. It was a 
most unpopular move, not being sufficiently central, so 
many people thought. Another reason that made it un- 
popular being that St. Petersburg is built on the marshes 
and most unhealthy. The poor people who mostly live in 
underground rooms are frequently flooded out . It is interest- 
ing to note how quickly the Germans realised this. Before 
very long they had the entire monopoly of the drug trade, 
every chemist's shop was in the hands of Germans and 
owned by them. So firmly did they establish themselves 
that when some Poles ventured to start rival establishments, 
the law and fire-arms were requisitioned to settle who should 
remain. Of course the Germans won the day. Court 
sympathy being on their side. 

Petrograd was a wonderful sight during the early days of 
the Revolution. The winter palace is no longer occupied 
by either Royalties or Rasputin, but by the revolutionary 

There is an air of spaciousness in the city, and life there 
before tjie war was one of gaiety, music, cafes and restaurants, 
the latter full of people all charming and hospitable. Almost 
every nationality could be met there. 

Impressive buildings abound. The Nevski, which is three 
miles long and thirty feet wide, has many of the administra- 
tive buildings around it. A number of quays form a sort 
of circle round a good part of the city along the banks of the 


Neva. The Admiralty dockyard is in what is called the 
English quay near the War Office and British Consulate. 
Close to the Grand Duke Nicholas' palace are the Military 
Courts of Justice. A little further along the river front 
stand the forty-four feet long, twenty-two feet wide and 
twenty-seven feet high statue of Peter the Great. Then 
comes the world-famed enormous palace of the late Tsar, 
magnificent outside, uncomfortable and almost sordid 

The British Embassy is a fine building and impressive 
as becomes the abode of Great Britain's representative, 
but what to me is much more interesting is a little wooden 
hut or shanty just across the water, in which place Peter 
the Great planned and dreamed of the building of the city 
we call Petrograd to-day. This little wooden structure has 
been preserved in its original simplicity, a relic of the past. 
Here Peter, not at that time called Great, sat with his wife, 
who mended his clothes and attended to other domestic 
matters and allowed her lord to eat with his fingers. Truly 
wonderful — this great city founded and built under the 
orders of an uneducated man, who hated ceremony in any 
form, was regardless of all traditions, and so homely he 
felt out of place in Moscow. 

The man was a genius \\dth the usual accompanying 
temper. Yet one could hardly call a man clever who de- 
liberately set to work to build a city on marshes that moved 
to suit their own convenience when they felt so inclined. 
St. Petersburg was built against all the orders of nature, if 
I may so express it, and in consequence was a most costly 
undertaking both in lives and money. 

To-day an enormous concrete parade-ground stretches 
over what was open marsh. A clever practical ruler would 
never have spent incalculable sums of money and a hundred 
thousand lives in an endeavour to build a city on a vast 
stretch of marshland. 

Before the building of St. Petersburg, Peter travelled 
in many countries endeavouring to gather knowledge for 
future use. At one time he served as a private soldier, at 


another he worked as a labourer in England, at Rotherhithe, 
with other ordinary labourers, studying deeply all the time. 
When he returned to build St. Petersburg he took with him a 
number of engineers, sailors, etc., to assist him in carrying 
out his schemes. He made the army and the system of 
canals by which the Neva was united with the Volga to the 

The will of this man is an interesting document. I think 
it might more correctly be termed the advice of Peter the 
Great, rather than his will ; unless that is the peculiar form 
Royalties take when making their wills, pre-supposing, of 
course, they have anything to leave. 

Reading this so-called will of 1725 in conjunction with 
the happenings of to-day is both interesting and instructive 
— ^it provides food for thought and runs as follows : — 

" (i.) Neglect nothing which can introduce Emropean 
manners and customs into Russia, and with this object gain 
the co-operation of the various Courts and especially the 
learned men of Europe, by means of interesting speculations, 
by philanthropic and philosophical principles, or by any 
other suitable means. 

(ii.) Maintain the State in a condition of perpetual war, 
in order that the troops may be inured to warfare, and so 
that the whole nation may always be kept in training and 
ready to march at the first signal. 

(iii.) Extend our dominions by every means on the 
north along the Baltic, as well as towards the south along 
the shores of the Black Sea ; and for this purpose : 

(iv.) Excite the jealousy of England, Denmark and 
Brandenburg against the Swedes, by means of which these 
Powers will disregard any encroachment we may make on 
that State, and which will end by subjugating. 

(v.) Interest the House of Austria in the expulsion of 
the Turk from Europe, and under this pretext maintain a 
permanent army and establish dockyards on the shores of the 
Black Sea, and thus, by ever moving forward, we will 
eventually reach Constantinople. 

(vi.) Keep up the state of anarchy in Poland, influence 


the national assemblies, and above all regulate the election 
of its kings, split it up on every occasion that presents itself, 
and finally subjugate it. 

(vii.) Enter into a close alliance with England, and 
maintain direct relations with her by means of a good 
commercial treaty ; allow her even to exercise a certain 
monopoly in the interior of the State, so that a good under- 
standing may be by degrees established between the English 
merchants and sailors and ours, who on their part are in 
favour of everything which tends to perfect and strengthen 
the Russian Navy, by aid of which it is necessary to at once 
strive for mastery over the Baltic and in the Black Sea — 
the keystone on which the speedy success of the scheme 

(viii.) Bear in mind that the commerce of India is the 
commerce of the world, and that he who can exclusively 
command it, is dictator of Europe. No occasion should 
therefore be lost to provoke war with Persia, to hasten its 
decay, to advance on the Persian Gulf and then to endeavour 
to re-establish the ancient trade of the Levant through 

(ix.) Always interfere by force of arms or by intrigue in 
the quarrels of the European Powers, and especially in 
those of Germany ; and with this object : 

(x.) Seek after and maintain an alliance with Austria, 
encourage her in her favourite idea of national predominance, 
profit by the slightest ascendency gained over her to entangle 
her in disastrous war, so that she may be gradually weak- 
ened ; even help her sometimes ; but incessantly stir up 
against her the enmity of the whole of Europe, but par- 
ticularly of Germany, by rousing the jealousy and distrust 
of the German princes. 

(xi.) Always select wives for Russian princes from 
among the German princesses, so that by this multiplying 
alliance based on close relationships and mutual interest, 
we will increase our influence over the Empire. 

(xii.) Make use of the power of the Church over the 
disunited and schismatical Greeks who are scattered over 


Hungary, Turkey and the southern parts of Poland, gain 
them over by every possible means, pose as their portectors, 
and establish a claim to religious supremacy over them. 

Under this pretext and with their help Turkey will be 
conquered, and Poland, unable any longer to stand alone, 
either by its own strength or by means of political connec- 
tions, will voluntarily place itself in subjection to us. 

(xiii.) From that time every moment will be precious 
to us. All our batteries must be secretly prepared to strike 
the great blow, and so that they can strike with such order, 
precision and rapidity as to give Europe no time for pre- 

The first step will be to propose very secretly and with the 
greatest circumspection, first to the Court of Versailles and 
then to that of Vienna, to divide with one of them the Empire 
of the world ; and by mentioning that Russia is virtually 
ruler of the Eastern world, and has nothing to gain but the 
title, this will probably not arouse their suspicions. 

It is undoubted that this project cannot fail to please 
them, and war will be kindled between them which will soon 
become general, both on account of the connections and 
widespread relationship between these two rival Courts 
and natural enemies, and because of the interest which will 
compel the other powers of Europe to take part in the 

(xiv.) In the midst of this general discord, Russia will 
be asked to help, first by one and then another of the bellig- 
erent powers ; and having hesitated long enough to give 
them time to exhaust themselves, and to enable her to 
assemble her own armies, she will at last appear to decide 
in favour of the house of Austria, and while she pushes her 
irregular troops forward to the Rhine, she will at once follow 
them up with the hordes of Asia ; and as they advance into 
Germany, two large fleets filled with a portion of the same 
hordes must set sail, one from the sea of Azoff and the other 
from the port of Archangel under convoy of the war vessels 
from the Black Sea and Baltic. They will suddenly appear 
in the Mediterranean and Northern Ocean, and inundate 




Italy, Spain, and France with their fiery and rapacious 
nomads who will plunder a portion of the inhabitants, 
carry off others into slavery to re-people the deserts of 
Silesia and render the remainder incapable of escaping from 
our yoke. 

All these distractions will accord such great opportunities 
to the regular troops that they will be able to act with a 
degree of energy and precision which will ensure the sub- 
jugation of the rest of Europe." 

This " will," as it is called, sets forth fairly clearly Napo- 
leon's poHcy, but whether it came from the heart of Peter 
the Great, or the brain of Napoleon, it has been the policy 
pursued by Russia. 

In Catherine II's reign towards its close there was a great 
fuss and pow-pow about invading India but it fell through. 
Also in 1801 the Emperor Paul agreed with France to invade 
India ; the Cossacks had actually started when the death of 
the Tsar knocked it on the head. 

Considering how many have designs on India it behoves us 
to keep our eyes open and to be prepared, and I think som.e 
of the grumblers who are always saying how mistaken our 
policy has been in not concentrating all our troops in the 
Western front, must have lost sight of the grave necessity 
of keeping open our road to India ; where should we be 
without the free passage of the Suez Canal for instance ? 
Sending troops to Egypt, Mesopotamia, Salonika and 
elsewhere may have appeared madness, but there was method 
in it. 

While keeping one interested eye on India I keep the other 
equally interested eye on Poland. The Polish question has 
been the skeleton in the cupboard of all the Chancellories 
of Europe for well over a hundred years, and is of such 
importance that its future, whatever it may be, must in- 
evitably have its effect on the Uves of us all ; it is, in fact, 
vital to all Europeans. The Polish problem has often been 
referred to by politicians and leader writers under the name 
of " The Polish question," yet few people in England reaUy 
know what it is all about, as is often the case in connection 



with big problems or events which gradually become mere 
phrases to the ear. Take, for instance, the Monroe Doctrine 
or the Renaissance. If you were suddenly to ask someone 
what the Renaissance was, the reply would quite likely be 
that it was something they had eaten at the Savoy but they 
did not know what it was made of. 

Only the other day — historically speaking — Poland was 
a great and powerful nation, our bulwark against all comers 
from the East, at one time sole champion of Christendom 
against the Turks ; but now an object of profound sym- 
pathy throughout western Europe. But though she has 
ceased to have a separate political existence each individual 
remains a Pole and resistant. The dream of their nights 
and days, the dream of every Pole, is to see their land arise 
on the ashes of the past, stretching from the Baltic to the 
Black Sea. 

Polish women have done much to keep alive the love of 
their country, they impress upon their children from their 
earliest days that country must come before anything, 
indeed the Polish women are great factors in their country. 
Bismarck once said he would sooner have two regiments of 
hussars opposed to him than one Polish woman, and Fred- 
erick the Great admired them and their qualities, saying, 
" In Poland the women attend to politics while the men get 
drunk ! " 

It is one of the greatest of European tragedies that there 
is now no such thing as a Polish nation, yet it is with Poland's 
future, after this war, that everyone is concerned, yes, 
everyone, even the London shopkeeper and the country 
labourer, for on the condition in which Poland finds herself 
after the war will spell our victory or defeat. This may 
seem strange to some, but so it is, and the Government of 
every great nation knows it. 

If it had been the fate of Poland to be turned into an 
ostensibly independent state, yet practically under the 
economic and political sway of Prussia, then Britain and 
her Allies with the whole ancient edifice of Western civilisa- 
tion would suffer. On the other hand, if a really free Poland 


emerges with free access to the sea through the ports that 
once were hers, then Western civilisation has been saved 
and the Prussian dream of an all-powerful middle European 
empire cannot be realised. 

What led to Poland's downfall was the artistic tempera- 
ment, which almost invariably leads to disaster and catas- 
trophe ; and they certainly brought their troubles on their 
own heads in a measure, much of it being caused by want of 
cohesion between the classes ; they had no shock-absorbing 
middle class, and no nation can get on without one. There 
were nobles and peasants, the former were rich, proud and 
futile, while the peasants were dull. A middle class is a half- 
measure and Poles do not deal in half -measures. If they 
drink, they drink to excess, if they are clever they are 
brilliant and play like Paderewski, or act hke Modjeska or 
discover things like Copernicus ; if they are dull — they 
are hopelessly dull. A Polish writer in describing the 
national temperament of his countrymen marvelled at the 
way a German can speculate as to whether life is really worth 
living, and write volumes proving conclusively that it is not 
— nevertheless go on living and drinking beer, marrying 
and all the rest of it just like other people. The Pole if he 
thought as the German did would plunge into the de- 
bauchery of despair, and probably die of delirium tremens ; 
poor soul, he is artistic and imaginative. 

Tracing Polish history back through modern times it 
disappears into a welter of legends. To this day the Pole 
lives in a sort of Nibelungen Ring of legend. 

An inborn loathing of trade has been one of Poland's 
stumbling-blocks ; they prefer leaving it to Jews, Germans 
and Scotch folk. To this day the PoHsh aristocracy dislike 
anything in the shape of barter or sale of goods. 

Needless to say Germany saw her opportunity, the com- 
mercial education came in, and won, hands down. The 
Pole is a gentleman and brave, ready to fight if needs be, 
but he could never bring himself to fight after modern 
fashion, the throwing of high explosives and abominable 
smells at one another across ten miles of country does not 



appeal to him, he would much prefer a straightforward 
personal encounter. 

I like to remember the Poles received the Jews when all 
the rest of the Christian world would have none of them. 

Many people are sick to death of Russia and Russians 
and wish to hear no more about her in consequence of her 
having thrown us over and prolonging this titanic struggle, 
but she interests me greatly and there are so many pos- 
sibilities in connection with her in the future that I think 
it might be well if we knew more of her, her people and their 


The Russian ballet visits England — Golders Green becomes fashion- 
able — Russian domestics — Shopping difficulties — Madame Pav- 
lova and her company tour in America — Pavlova's simplicity 
a trial to her managers — Mordkin works the sewing-machine — 
Temporary home in a train — Publicity-agents' enterprise — 
Patience of American audiences — " Gad, what a small stage ! " — 
Pavlova's maids — Their work and affection — Pavlova mends her 
shoes — Her pet alligator — A prize-fight between Mordkin and 
Pavlova — The Bishop cleans the boots — Hotels clean and un- 
clean — The alligator in an hotel — Until the bill was paid ! — A 
motor-car in flames — The late Tsar's loves — Some arrests — 
Corruption grows apace — A baby boycotted — Chocolate and 
water in a bottle — An interpreter for Russian commissioners — 
A Russian officer's diplomacy^ — With the Red Cross in Russia. 

THE arrival of the Russian ballet in this country 
caused a great sensation, all were well received, 
though I heard some strange and unflattering 
remarks made about their modes and manners. 

For some reason, best known to themselves, Golders 
Green is where these fashionable dancers congregated ; 
quite a little colony of Russians collected there. The great 
Madame Pavlova took a house next door to Madame Lydia 
Kyasht, and their Russian servants were most entertaining, 
being unable to speak English their endeavours to make 
themselves understood were dramatic. On one occasion a 
Russian cook went to a local Golders Green butcher with 
a basket on her arm in search of pork, she pointed to a piece 
of beef, shook her head £.nd grunted a few hfe-Hke grunts 
in copy of a pig. Pork was forthcoming at once and the 
cook returned triumphant. 

Another Russian servant wished to find the underground 
railway and asked a policeman to direct her. At first he 
had no idea what she was talking about, but when she ran 
along the street crying pouf-pouf and moving her arm after 



the fashion of the cylinder on the wheels, he guessed at 

The reason why these foreign servants get on so well 
on our shores is, I think, because they are so natural and 
devoid of self-consciousness ; it never occurs to them they 
may be looking ridiculous. 

A friend of mine who had taken up dancing went with 
Madame Pavlova on a tour in America to dance with her 
company. As this friend does not wish me to mention 
her name I will call her Helen. She is a gifted little person, 
and a great Unguist. She learnt Russian " for fun " as we 
used to say when we were children, and taught herself 
entirely. She felt sorry for some Polish girls who went out 
with them as part of the ballet, for on their arrival at New 
York they were seized with home-sickness, and one of them 
spent her leisure moments weeping on the bedroom floor 
in the hotel. Fortunately there were not many leisure 
moments, as rehearsals began early, and often ended late, 
sometimes after i a.m. 

Happily there was a delightful restaurant near the Hotel 
Schuyler, where Helen was staying owing to its being fairly 
near the Metropolitan Opera House where the rehearsals 
took place. 

The restaurant in question rejoiced in the name of 
" Childs." Excellent and cheap meals were procurable here 
at any hour of the day or night, a decided improvement 
on our English restaurants. I wish we had a " Childs " 
over here open at all hours of the day or night. Whatever 
the Americans undertake they do thoroughly — no half- 
hearted measures. 

About twenty American girls had been engaged to travel 
with the company as corps de ballet and they were amazed 
at seeing Madame Pavlova go into " Childs " for supper. 
One girl remarked, " An American star wouldn't be seen 
in ' Childs ' if you offered her diamonds in cups." 

One of Madame Pavlova's most fascinating traits is her 
simplicity, natural simplicity which is perpetually showing 
itself. In New York she was installed at the Knickerbocker 


Hotel, where life cost about a pound a minute, yet she spent 
the whole day and half the night in the theatre and would 
turn into " Childs " with the ballet girls quite naturally 
for a cup of coffee. Occasionally she would be too busy to 
leave the theatre to feed, her maid then carried food to her 
from the " delicatessen " shops, and she shared it with 
Monsieur Mordkin while discussing ballets and costumes. 

This very simplicity was, however, a great trial to her 
managers for she never could be made to see the difference 
between a human being and a star. Instead of reclining 
on a panther skin surrounded by orchids and smoking 
cigarettes out of diam.ond-studded holders, they would 
find her sitting on a high stool at a luncheon counter eating 
ham and drinking coffee with the rest of the world. 

Some of the Russians' methods were a revelation to 
Helen, for instance, it was surprising to find Monsieur 
Mordkin seated at a sewing-machine making his own 

Like all the rest of the garments in which the company 
were to appear in the Oriental ballet in New York, Mordkin 's 
had come from a first-class Paris house of considerable fame, 
but the costume did not please him, so he was adapting it to 
his own ideas. 

Shortly after this Helen went to see Mordkin 's wife who 
was ill, and was now not in the least surprised to find him 
seated cross-legged on the bed sewing jewels on his theatrical 
head-dress. He certainly knew what he was about and 
showed considerable taste, as in the ballet he looked a most 
magnificent Oriental potentate. 

It must be rather delightful to travel with a theatrical 
company ; in the first place they do themselves very well, 
and in the second, as a rule, they are a joyous crowd. 

Madame Pavlova's company in this American tour 
travelled in their own train, living in it for weeks and months. 
In one car were the Russian Count Centanini, the impre- 
sario, and Mr. Theodore Steel the conductor, in another 
coach the American girls, always for some mysterious 
reasons called by the Russians IlcUianki, in another coach 


the musicians, in another the scenery, and so on, making a 
goodly crowd. 

It was all very comfortable, but not altogether as de- 
scribed by the publicity-agent. According to him they had 
a luxurious library, a beautifully fitted chapel with a priest 
of the Orthodox Church in attendance ; he may have been 
there in spirit, but he certainly was not in the flesh. 

Journalistic enterprise and imagination is often respon- 
sible for good stories ; the following is an illustration. The 
Russian dancers and company arrived in New York at 
8 o'clock in the morning and all went quickly to bed. 
Before long Helen was aroused from her slumbers by a per- 
fect stranger who wished to know what " snow " was m 
Russian. Drowsily she murmured " snieck " and went to 
sleep again. That evening there appeared in the local paper 
a wonderful description of the rapture of the Russians on 
arriving to find snow on the ground, how they had rushed 
madly about scraping up snow in their hands, exclaiming 
joyfully, " Snieck, snieck ! " 

That one word of Helen's had worked these wonders. 
As a matter of fact she and the rest of the company had 
slept soundly until midday as usual, and were by no means 
pleased to see snow on the ground. 

The conductor of the car was a " coloured gentleman " 
with much experience of ladies holding " Stellar " rank ! 
His views on people and things were entertaining. He 
regarded Madame Pavlova's simplicity from another stand- 
point, entirely different to that of her managers ; this is 
how he expressed himself : " For a lady commanding the 
notoriety she does, Madame is very little cranky." 

To this discerning coloured gentleman named George, with 
his dark skin, kind heart, and perfect manners, the company 
owed much of the comfort of that tour ; they gratefully 
remember his gentle ministrations. 

American audiences are very patient. In consequence 
of the number of entertainments given on " One night 
stands," sometimes three being given to the one night's 
halt, the company were sometimes late. At one depot 


they arrived an hour after the curtain should have risen 
and the performance began two hours and a half late, 
no protests being made by the patient folk waiting. 

With this Russian company, as with all travelling com- 
panies, their first remark on arrival at a theatre was, " What 
a small stage. Are there any letters ? " 

This appeared to have got on the nerves of some theatrical 
authorities who thought they would save the Russian 
dancers this trouble when they arrived at their destination. 
A large printed notice was found hung up at the entrance 
of the theatre, " Gad, what a small stage ! Where's the 
mail ? " This so tickled Pavlova that she exclaimed, " Gad, 
what a small town ! Where is Centanini ? " 

Madame Pavlova's two maids who always travel with her 
are worthy of some notice, being of uncommon character 
and very hard workers. The general public have little idea 
of the amount of work entailed on all connected with 
the production of theatrical entertainments. These maids 
thought nothing of working all night if necessary and ate 
their meals when and where they could, belonging to, or 
perhaps I had better say, a remnant of the old school who 
took personal interest in their employers. They were, of 
course, Russians. Nastia was the name of her personal maid 
and dresser. Shura, the other maid who was in charge of 
the wardrobe, making costumes and keeping them in repair. 
If in a town for more than one night, or if hot water happened 
to be laid on in the theatre, Nastia would seize the oppor- 
tunity to wash, dye and iron tights. The room had a curious 
appearance with about twenty-four pairs of these articles 
hanging from lines. Pavlova is always exquisitely fresh 
and dainty on the stage involving an immense amount of 
work with tarlatan skirts, tights, etc. Her ballet shoes are 
her own particular care ; she is most particular about them, 
and spends much time preparing and repairing them herself. 
A new pair is generally torn to pieces, little scraps inserted, 
parts pared away with a penknife, and such like tools ; her 
hands at times become quite rough with this work which 
she will entrust to no one. 


Sometimes four or five new costumes would be required 
at two days' notice. Shura working as if her life depended 
on it in the train. Surrounded by billowing tarlatan and 
doing most intricate embroidery with papers of sandwiches 
and sequins beside her. 

The relationship between the maids and their mistress 
was interesting. Shura was a great critic administering 
blame or praise (unasked) quite freely ; she was overheard 
one day telling Pavlova she had " held her back admirably 
in some dance." There was a pleasant give and take on 
both sides. 

If annoyed Pavlova would slap the maid's faces and this 
was in no way resented ; another time if she was dining in 
some restaurant and there happened to be a dish or two 
she thought the maids would like she would send for the 
head waiter and ask for a large piece of white paper in which 
she would wrap up the dainties and carry them off to the 
maids in the theatre. 

Eccentricity when wedded to great achievements is 
easily forgiven, and the almost fraternal relations between 
them was rather charming. If it happened to be con- 
venient the maids would sit and sup at the same table as 
Pavlova and her party without any embarrassment on 
either side. 

On returning to London after this tour an old friend of 
Pavlova's arrived from Petrograd to see her ; the moment 
Nastia beheld him she flung her arms round him, adminis- 
tering warm kisses, the embrace being heartily returned. 
An old friend of Pavlova's must naturally be a friend of 
Nastia 's. 

I wonder how long these pleasant relations will last under 
the new regime ? 

Chesterton says, " It is a really democratic thing to 
kick your butler downstairs if he annoys you, the un- 
democratic thing is not to do it. So perhaps " 

In New Orleans, Pavlova acquired a small alligator 
about one foot long which became a great pet, but the negro 
portion in the car were terrified of it. 


The run to San Francisco being a long one a whole evening 
had to be spent in the train, and a most amusing one it 
proved to be ; for Pavlova and Mordkin undertook to 
entertain the rest of the company, and succeeded admirably. 

The first item on the programme was a prize-fight between 
the champion heavy-weight and the champion hght -weight, 
the latter being Madame Pavlova attired in one of Mordkin 's 
vests with a magnificent display of " Orders " pinned on. 

Mordkin as heavy-weight had numerous pairs of stock- 
ings and other objects arranged under his sweater to repre- 
sent muscles and an enormous red rubber sponge fastened 
on as a beard. A small towel was placed on the floor as 
a mat, and the fight proceeded. It is beyond me to describe 
this great moment, I must leave it to the imagination of 
my readers. 

An amazingly clever sketch followed by Mr. Mordkin 
depicting Madame Pavlova in old age, followed by one of 
Mordkin in his second childhood by Pavlova. 

It is of course well known that encounters between these 
two artists have not always been quite so amiable as the 
one just described or so amusing — especially to their 
managers. But of their wonderful partnership — " Hot as 
non numero nisi serenas." 

The independence and equality of the American domestics 
is surprising to our English minds on visiting that country 
for the first time. A friend of mine staying in an hotel in 
New York put her boots outside the bedroom door to be 
cleaned, they were still there next morning, but not cleaned. 
Another individual staying in the hotel better versed in the 
ways of those parts asked what her boots were doing outside 
the door ? " To be cleaned," was the reply. My friend was 
much laughed at and told she would have to do that herself, 
the servants would not dream of doing it, so the boots were 
withdrawn. This reminds me of an English bishop who went 
out to America to stay with another bishop friend, and as 
usual put his boots outside the door imagining they would 
be cleaned ; indeed, I am not sure he was not turning over 
in his own mind the scramble there would be in the lower 

From a picture by Michel J acobs 


regions for the honour of cleaning his boots. What happened 
was this : 

The host bishop espying his friend's boots as he passed 
the door on the way to bed felt rather concerned. What 
should he do ? He could not possibly knock at his friend's 
door and tell him to clean his own boots, neither could he 
leave them there dirty until the morning ; and it would be 
worse than useless to tell the servants to clean them. What 
was to be done ? He really must have a notice put up in the 
bedrooms after the fashion of some of the hotels where 
there are placards, or what my little son in his ignorance 
called blackguards, bearing this notice : " Gentlemen will 
not, and others must not, spit upon the floors." Now 
perhaps if he put up a notice in the rooms, " Gentlemen 
will not, and others must not, put their boots outside the 
doors," it might be a good plan, but being of a logical turn 
of mind he felt he should offer some alternative or suggest 
some means of having clean boots. It was altogether very 
ruffling and in despair he picked up the boots, stole away 
with them, cleaned them himself and stealthily, like a thief 
in his own house, popped them down outside the door again. 

The company spent Christmas in New York. They 
danced for seven weeks at the Metropolitan Opera House. 
Christmas day was as dreary as only Christmas day knows 
how to be when spent in an hotel. Pavlova dined with 
Helen and her mother, a gloomy meal in a deserted room, 
after which they retired and drank tea in their private 
apartments. Now, everything bore a different complexion, 
for Pavlova talked unceasingly while the others listened 
entranced, to her stories of her childhood, of some of her 
great moments and some of what often proved the more 
important, the little moments, which later may and often 
do arise collectively to make or mar us. 

Some of the American hotels were most comfortable and 
beautifully clean, others were neither comfortable nor clean. 

In one where Helen and her mother had bespoken rooms, 
on arrival they found so many occupants already there 
that they could not face it ; this they explained to the 


chambermaid saying black beetles were their pet abhorrence 
and they observed several strolling about. The maid 
suggested that was nothing to make a fuss about, but seeing 
the occupants of the room preparing for flight she rang the 
telephone and called for " the Boss " or his understudy. 
Presumably one or the other answered from the lower 
regions, for the maid continued with the nasal twang peculiar 
to Americans, " Say, Boss ! these parties in 77's making 
tracks 'cos of the beetles, send instructions quick ! " 

Once on board ship when several repulsive-looking 
beetles were discovered under Helen's pillow she sent for 
the steward and remonstrated. He was quite pained with 
her for not wishing to have them left there explaining, 
" Lor, Miss, they eats the bugs," and picking up the beetles 
dropped them into his pocket for use in his own bunk ! 

There was a good deal of excitement on the return journey 
from America owing to the risk of enemy submarines, 
torpedoes and aircraft. All the passengers crew were daily 
drilled with a view to teaching all those on board what to 
do should necessity arise. The alarm was given and all had 
to fall into allotted places with life-belts and other saving 
appliances. Boats were lowered and manned ; everything 
carefully thought out and arranged. 

To the lay mind it seems quite possible that when the 
alarm was sounded it would be difficult to know if it was 
for practice or the real thing, but I suppose if all answered 
the alarm promptly and did as they had been instructed 
it would not matter much which it was. 

There was one very pessimistic passenger who was 
rather a trial, he would insist on predicting disaster and used 
to walk round the ship explaining to anybody who would 
listen to him that the drill was all very well, but if there 
was any hurry and real danger this boat would not be sea- 
worthy, that something else would not work and so on, 
until it got on some of the passengers' nerves and worried 
the captain ; he therefore suppressed the croaking individual. 

In April the company arrived in England ready for the 
Palace season again. All were glad to be back in London, 


which Russians seem to Hke and feel at home in. They 
greatly appreciate the civility of our policemen, porters, 
tradesmen, every one in fact. 

Madame Pavlova engaged a delightful suite of rooms in 
an hotel overlooking the Park ; having done this she thought 
she would like to be in Golders Green again and took a 
house there, leaving the alligator in sole possession of the 
charming suite of rooms in the hotel for a week ! having no 
money to pay the bill she said. Her salary was £300 a 
week ! 

At this time Golders Green was full of Russians and 
interesting people, amongst them Pavlova, Lydia Kyasht, 
Fokine Chirriaieff, Bara de Guersberg, the Kisloff and Lydia 
Lipkowska. A number of Diagheliew's ballet also had rooms 

The majority of Russians consider our food unpardonably 
nasty, but Madame Chirriaieff became so enamoured of our 
tea she continued to have it sent to her from Golders Green 
to Russia. 

When dancing at the Palace Pavlova used to take Helen 
away with her for week-ends travelling by car. On one of 
these journeys they started away after the performance, 
taking food with them to eat on the way. 

Near Sevenoaks something went wrong with the car, 
which was a new one and therefore annoying that there 
should be trouble with it. They got out, walked a little 
distance and sat down to enjoy their provisions while the 
necessary repairs were being attended to. Shortly to their 
horror they discovered the car in flames. Pavlova was much 
agitated, as she had only just signed the insurance policy 
and was uncertain whether it had been posted or not. 
Looking round for some means of extinguishing the flames 
she discovered a gravel pit, and with her usual resource- 
fulness dashed off and filled her hat with gravel, carrying it 
backwards and forwards hoping by this means to put out 
the fire. As the flames neared the petrol tank the chauffeur 
said it was no longer safe for his mistress to stay anywhere 
near the car, and it had to be abandoned. There was nothing 


to be done but walk into Sevenoaks ; they arrived in the 
middle of the night at an hotel where eventually they suc- 
ceeded in knocking some one up who gave them tea and made 
them comfortable for the night. 

Pavlova was, and is, a wonderful woman, the English 
raved about her when she was over here. She is an artist 
to her finger-tips, with the true artistic temperament, 
irritable and impatient with people less gifted and quick to 
grasp things than herself. She is not unduly vain, at least 
not more than is consistent with brains and self-respect, for 
vanity is only a perverted form of self-respect. 

I think it must have been during Pavlova's last season at 
the Alhambra when Helen as usual was dancing with her, 
that the gifted and hospitable actress gave a large garden 
party in Ivy House, Hampstead, which she was renting at 
the time and where she was surrounded by her pets, a lovely 
garden, and Russian servants. 

Amongst these pets were some beautiful swans who dis- 
ported themselves on a miniature lake. 

Invitations to the garden party were much sought after; 
it was largely attended and all seem to have enjoyed it. 
Mrs. Asquith ^vrote and said she would bring her own chair 
if she might come. Helen lent Pavlova some of the family 
plate to look smart for the occasion, and to fill up some 
cupboards with glass doors. The furniture and beautiful 
things had come from Russia, but Pavlova had not brought 
much silver. 

Other people knew of this party apparently as well as 
the invited guests, for it was discovered next morning that 
burglars had been busy, but contented themselves upstairs 
amongst the jewellery, overlooking the cabinets and else- 

I feel that all this account of successful dancers sounds 
very easy of imitation and a delightful life, but all are not 
born dancers and all temperaments are not suited to life 
on the stage, as the following will show. 

A very nice girl, well born and what, I believe, is called 
" well brought up," presented at Court, and having passed 


the usual curriculum expected of the " well brought up," 
wished to test life on lines of her own unaided by anyone, 
wished to stand alone without any props, wished to earn 
her own living, disliked the idea of being a parasite and 
living on anybody. She thought the world a beautiful place 
and full of nice people. If it proved otherwise, well, she 
would make it beautiful and the people nice. 

At first there were some self -satisfying days. She was 
admired and sought after — then followed days of doubt 
and some regret, wondering if the game had been worth the 
candle, and thinking of the way she had disappointed her 
people ; also some loss of faith in men and things, followed 
by loss of faith in self — then disgust and despair — disillusion 
— suicide — ^while yet a young and beautiful woman. It had 
not taken her long to find " All is not gold that glitters," 
and that the walls of convention are after all very pro- 

I feel this little story sounds rather like Sunday tracts 
for simple people, or some such thing ; but it is true and 
presents to our minds clearly that all are not suited to the 
life of the stage or to standing alone. 

Amongst other Russian dancers who have created sen- 
sations in England were Lydia Kyasht and Karsavina ; 
they were close friends, having been at school together, 
made their debut in the same year, became premiere danseuse 
the same year, married the same year and subsequently 
came to England the same year. 

Madame Kyasht 's husband, an officer in the Russian 
Army, managed to escape in November, 1917, from his 
country, at that time in a state of chaos. His pass was made 
out by the Kerensky Administration for which he had been 
fighting, but the Leninites having been in power for a few 
days he determined to try and get away and come to his 
wife who was in this country. Captain Rogosin, for that 
is his proper name, is a well-built man of about six feet, 
he had many thrilling adventures during his escape. That 
he did good service before he left is proved by his having 
won the Cross of St. George, which is the Russian Victoria 


Cross, and also the gold sword of St. George. The Cross 
was bestowed upon him for capturing some heavy guns 
from the Germans with only fifty men of his company. 

Before he left he saw desperate sights in the streets of 
Petrograd, thousands of dying and dead, both civilians and 
soldiers, and the Winter Palace riddled with bullet -holes 
and ransacked. 

Then there was Kshesiska, who worked like a galley slave 
five hours daily at her dancing, stopping occasionally to 
wTing out her hair and begin again. I have heard, but with 
what truth I do not know, that her sole object, frankly 
confessed, is to capture a rich husband. Apparently she 
achieved her end, for later she was to be seen in a Petro- 
grad theatre ablaze with diamonds. 

The Tsar fell much in love with her and used to visit her 
in a very humble home. The authorities encouraged the 
affair, seeming to consider his choice fortunate. 

Later, when the Tsar married Victoria Alice, daughter 
of our Princess Alice, who, it will be remembered, married 
the Grand Duke of Hesse, he provided handsomely for his 
old love and she consoled herself with the Tsar's brother, 
and later a third brother. 

She was by this time immensely rich and living in a mag- 
nificent palace with troupes of servants, all much in awe 
of her. 

Notwithstanding her riches she was a most careful house- 
wife, going through the inventory every month \nth the 
heads of the different departments. Once a trembling butler 
was found to have twelve more tumblers than on the 
official list ; he confessed they were there ready to replace 
breakages when they occurred ; whether this was con- 
sidered praiseworthy or the reverse I do not know. 

This dancer has now been arrested, there are many 
stories that are highly entertaining about these people, 
but I fear hurting English susceptibilities, and many are 
not suitable for publication. 

Kshesiska was not the Tsar's first love, she followed 
Miss Labunska. I am not sure that is the way it is spelt, 


but Russian names are spelt just as they sound and that is 
the nearest I can do. 

The Tsar was called " Nicka " by his courtiers because they 
said they could do what they liked with him. I often used 
to speculate on what would be the fate of " Nicka," remem- 
bering that out of twenty-five previous rulers twelve were 
murdered, the deaths of six were suggestive, and one had 
had enough of life and so ended it. Six died natural deaths, 
three of them being women, the only three Tsars who have 
died in the ordinary way being Michael Theodorovich, 
Alexis Michaelovich and Peter II. And now we know poor 
" Nicka " has also been done to death. 

I have heard it stated that Russia, like other dying 
countries, has been ruled by women, as if that accounted 
for much of her trouble. I should not hke to say Russia is 
a dying country, and I do not think a woman's rule neces- 
sitates a country's demise. I know a country ruled for 
sixty years by a woman and the country is far from dead, 
though with sorrow I must allow of late years it has become 
alarmingly corrupt, and we are paying and suffering for it 
in the sacrificing of young manhood, most of whom have had 
httle to do with the corruption. For some years this cor- 
ruption has been growing apace, and many of us have known 
it, now it is well known everywhere and the appalling part 
of it is no one seems to be ashamed. 

We have said to ourselves if this party and that party 
were in power things might be different. Unfortunately 
the knowledge has come home to roost that whatever party 
comes into power they have to become corrupt, it appears, 
to be part of the mantle of office. 

There is much that is anomalous in England as well as 
Russia and always has been ; though for magnificence and 
discomfort combined, Russia leaves us standing. In the 
famous Catherine's day, for instance, she lived in great 
state, gold bedsteads, gold dressing-tables, etc., but no 
chairs to sit upon or pillows whereon to rest her noble head 
when reclining on her gorgeous bed ! 

Amongst other talented Russians who have visited our 


shores I must not forget Nojinsky ; he married a Hungarian. 
During the second year of their married Ufe this couple 
went to stay in Hungary to show their first-born to the 
mother's country. They had chosen an unfortunate moment, 
as they were at once interned and everybody refused to 
nurse or feed a Russian baby. No pleadings were any use, 
not even milk for the infant was allowed to be delivered ; 
this was terrible, but " necessity is the mother of invention," 
and chocolate and water were used as a substitute, answering 
admirably. On this the child was reared, and when last 
I heard of it, was thriving. 

Much discomfort was endured by these good people ; 
for a whole month they lived on twenty-four francs ! quite 
an experience after several hundreds a week. 

Nojinsky is now, I believe, in America, thanks to the King 
of Spain and the American Ambassador ; at least that is 
what a Uttle bird told me and it is a trustworthy little bird. 

The Russians are good comrades in a way not possible 
with the Latin races. The former can be on the most 
pleasant friendly terms under all sorts of circumstances, 
and yet treat a woman with respect. 

When the Russian Commission came over to England 
five ofiScers were told off to negotiate with English and 
American firms for the sale of motor vehicles of all sorts for 
the use of the Russian Army. The interpreters who had 
been provided were found to be unsatisfactory in several 
ways, and my friend Helen was asked if she would undertake 
it, as knowledge of the language and integrity were required 
more than business experience. She undertook the work 
and enjoyed it very much, finding it interesting and at times 

They used to sit at the Savoy Hotel. On one occasion 
she was given a difficult correspondence to execute in a 
language with which she was not very familiar and bristling 
with technicalities : it speaks well for her perseverance 
that she succeeded in making herself understood. 

Helen is a dignified little body with an assured manner, 
slight and petite. She looked a speck sitting amongst 


these big soldiers and business men whilst interpreting for 
them in about half a dozen different languages as easily as 
if they were her own, for she is a gifted person able to speak 
fluently in about seven languages. 

A Russian Staff Colonel in this Commission had some 
trouble in arranging matters satisfactorily with some of 
the contractors who quarrelled so fiercely amongst them- 
selves that he feared the war services were likely to be pre- 
judiced. After trying all ordinary means to reconcile the 
differing factors the Colonel hit on the novel plan of going 
to each privately and saying something of this sort : " Look 
here, that other fellow is most awfully cut up about this row 
and feels he is certainly in the wrong, but he does not like 
to approach you in person, for fear you should refuse to be 
friends with him. He therefore wishes me to apologise to 
you unreservedly on his behalf. All you have to do is to 
make no reference to this when next year you meet, just 
be very friendly and show you accept his apology." The 
diplomatic Colonel having said this to each in turn, all 
accepted the apologies of the other and became great friends 
again, paying one another generous tribute as became an 
occasion when all were victorious. 

Another of the Russian officers for whom Helen acted as 
interpreter was very deUcate, a few months later he was sent 
to make a report on some invention being tried at the front 
and returned badly wounded, obliging his leg to be am- 
putated, he was dangerously ill but refused to have an 
anaesthetic, fearing he might not be able to deliver his report 
which he dictated during the operation, dying half an hour 

The versatile Helen went as nurse and interpreter with 
Lady Muriel Paget 's Anglo-Russian Red Cross Hospital 
Contingent, subscribed for by the public. In Petrograd the 
Grand Duke Demeliovitch set a portion of his palace apart 
for use as a hospital, and here for a time Helen worked, the 
Duke occupying the other part of the palace. The Tsaritza 
used to pay visits to the patients. 

Nursing in a hospital of this kind is comparatively easy. 


everything being provided for the convenience and comfort 
of the wounded, the size and airiness of the wards being 

Suddenly an order was received for a matron, some nurses 
and the interpreter, to proceed at once to the zone of the 
active armies. 

All went well on the two days' journey from Petrograd 
to Kieff, but the latter place was so appallingly crow^ded 
there seemed little chance of sleeping accommodation for 
the night. Helen and the matron (who had done splendid 
work in the Balkans) waited an hour in one hotel in hopes 
of being allowed to sleep on the floor of the bathroom, but 
they waited in vain. Finally a small hair-dresser's estabhsh- 
ment offered them hospitality in their ladies' saloon, for a 
wash and brush up. The proprietor brought them a jug of 
hot water and a basin on a stand generally used for hair- 
washing. After refreshing themselves with this the travellers 
distinguished themselves by upsetting a box of powder over 
everything just by way of a remembrance ! in spite of which 
the kindly hair-dresser would hear of no recompense. 

Red Cross tickets were forthcoming for the night, at last, 
so the newly found friend's hospitality was no longer needed. 


Red Cross nurses misunderstood — The Sanitar's forgetfulness — 
Hostile aeroplanes visit the Red Cross camps — With the 
wounded in the dark — A superhuman doctor — Long hours in 
the operating tent — Patience of the wounded — Disgraceful state 
of Russian hospitals — Lady Muriel Paget in the doctor's hands 
— A pre-war Trocadero waiter — Russian orderly's method of 
obeying orders — English and Russian soldiers fraternise in 
hospital — The Colonel's orderly deviates from former excellence 
— A sergeant's curious report — Operations under difficulties — A 
father's instructions to his wounded son — Two girls influence a 
regiment — A gruesome sight — Prayer before battle — Russians 
and their prisoners — England's lost opportunities — Germany 
steps in — A great Russian scientist — Sour milk a life-prolonger. 

SOME of the nurses passing through Kief went to 
a restaurant for dinner. As their expenses were 
paid they were naturally anxious to keep down 
expenses, so decided to have the table d'hote dinner, hoping 
the waiter would understand them they asked for " dinner." 
Yes ! evidently he understood them, for he smiled compre- 
hendingly and shortly returned with a delicious melon ; 
this was an excellent beginning. Anyone who has been in 
Russia during the war and known the scarcity of fruit and 
its prohibitive price will know how much this melon was 

After this delightful hors d'ceuvre the waiter reappeared 
expectantly, and their mistake slowly dawned on them, 
evidently something they had said suggested melon and the 
dinner had yet to be ordered. Something very small and 
cheap was now asked for and they went hungry away. The 
mistake was very natural, " dinja " being the Russian for 

Many and strange were the nurses' experiences before 
they reached their destination ; amongst others they slept 
on the floor of a perfectly bare room from which all windows 



had been removed by bombs. Part of the journey was by 
motor ambulance along appalling roads and through fields : 
I was going to say the monotony was reUeved by their 
losing their way and being overtaken by darkness, but there 
was not much monotony, the journey bristled with interest, 
and before being overtaken by the darkness they enjoyed 
the most exquisite sunset against which were silhouetted a 
train of artillery and transport combining to make a long- 
to-be-remembered picture of the splendour and the pity 
of war. 

After plunging up and down hilly fields they reached 
their destination only to find no tents were ready, so this 
time the night was spent on the ground. What was most 
distressing was that the Sanitar who was responsible for 
raising the last camp had accidentally left the poles for the 
operating tent behind, so they were unable to do anything 
for the wounded that night, and the endless stream of the 
pathetic little curtained carts had to travel on through the 
night, with their pitiful burdens to the next camp. 

When eventually all was ready the camp looked charming 
with its large operating tent, three ward huts, and one for 
the start. 

The Russian Military Hospital was opposite the Red 
Cross Camp, the woods around were stacked with shells. 
Near the Red Cross Camp was a light narrow-gauge railway, 
for which the Austrians were responsible during their occupa- 
tion ; it ran from the firing line to Lutzk, the base for the 
south-western front. This was used for the wounded. 
The nearness of this railway and the ammunition stores 
perhaps accounted for the fact that every fine day the Red 
Cross Camp was visited by hostile aeroplanes. 

An aircraft battery stood in an adjoining field, it was 
interesting watching them potting at the enemy aero- 

The work for the nurses was now hard, all day long the 
little white-covered springless carts streamed up with the 

Speaking generally, the men were very patient and 


grateful for anything done for them. It was anxious work 
taking the men down the steep hill in carts to the railway 
station en route for the base where they could be attended 
to better. Lifting them from the carts into the flat straw- 
covered trucks was difficult work, on fine days it was trying 
enough with the patients not tortured with pain, but on 
dark stormy nights with patients groaning in their agony 
it was excessively trying, especially as the only light available 
came from blazing torches stuck on the end of sticks which 
nurses snatched from one another. A superhuman, wonder- 
ful little squint-eyed doctor in charge of the station rushed 
about jumping on and off the train shouting abuse at every- 
one, but personally, and even tenderly, seeing to the comfort 
of the men. A truly wonderful man with God-given strength 
for the occasion, he worked night and day often without 
food or sleep. Though he had no time to attend to his own 
needs he determined to have a buffet at the station where 
tea and other comforting drinks could be made for the 
wounded, and in spite of all the calls on his time he suc- 
ceeded in arranging this. 

The strain of lifting patients is very great on women not 
accustomed to such work, quite apart from the nerve strain 
inevitable on such occasions. 

Many of the plucky women and girls who are giving all 
their strength and energy to nurse and help the wounded in 
this Armageddon will surely never again feel young, the 
scenes they have witnessed, the pain they have been power- 
less to assuage, must be a lifelong nightmare to them. I 
know from experience it is not at the time when nursing 
desperate cases that we feel the strain, we are too highly 
strung and full of anxiety for our patients ; the horrors 
of it come when the tension is over and nothing more is 
required of us. 

For some time Helen worked in the operation tent. 
Considering this hospital and the one at Petrograd was her 
first experience of surgical work, which it must be allowed 
seems a far cry from ballet dancing and festive little suppers 
in restaurants, it speaks highly for her powers of self-control 


and pluck that she was able to hold herself together and be 
useful without once breaking down. 

Only on one occasion did she have to be helped out into the 
fresh air for a few moments to avoid fainting. Her working 
hours in the operating tent were from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with 
half an hour for dinner and the same for tea if she was able 
to eat any ! 

Many operations had to be performed by the light of one 
little sixpenny lamp held by Helen who had to dodge about 
with it to prevent the shadow of the doctor's hand getting 
in the way of his work. 

At another time she did night nurse's duty in a tent 
packed with stretchers lying so closely to one another on the 
ground that it was almost impossible to get between them 
and each stretcher filled with a man in agony ; she felt as 
others have done, that there is nothing more painful than to 
hear strong brave men crying out in their pain, and being 
powerless to help them to any appreciable extent. 

One cannot help wondering how the good God can allow 
such things to be. 

To make the difficulties of the night nursing more trying 
only one candle was allowed, which had to be reserved for 
emergency. All distressing things seem more distressing 
in the night, and in those early morning hours when we turn 
over a new page in the book of our lives, and wonder what 
will be written on it, praying that some day we may find it 
recorded that we did our best. 

On one occasion when an evacuation was taking place 
the wounded suffered much more than they need have done, 
owing to bad management. Helen, the matron, and another 
sister went down in the carts to the station with the worst 
cases, crouching amongst the straw with a poor wounded 
head or limb in their hands or laps, trying to lessen the shock 
and jolting on the way to the clearing station, where all was 
a hopeless muddle. When a little train of wide, fiat trucks 
covered in straw arrived the nurses fought for places for 
the worst of their cases, searching frantically for spare 
straw to prop up mangled limbs. 


The attitude of the sufferers in their endeavours to save 
people trouble was almost inhuman. The hospital orderlies 
were tying up the chins of men not yet dead preparing them 
for their graves, the patient calmly acquiescing, thinking 
it was a saving of time and trouble later. 

There were some barracks near the camp which had been 
turned into a hospital under Russian management. Helen 
helped to nurse here for a time and was appalled at the 
awful state of things she found. Imagine a hospital with 
no sanitary arrangements of any kind, naturally the smells 
were overpowering. Cooking, operating, surgical and dysen- 
tery cases were all mixed up together, the only rule in force, 
or perhaps I should say that was expected to be attended to, 
being that the blood on the sheets from the last patient 
must be dry before another was put in the bed. 

It was said at that time that in the whole of Russia there 
were not more than one hundred hospital nurses, and many 
of these by no means fully qualified. Small wonder so many 
wounded men were brought into the Anglo-Russian hospital 
in such a pitiable state, for how could that number of nurses 
cope with thousands and thousands of wounded? The 
doctors also found it practically impossible to attend to 
each case as they would like to have done, and others became 
careless from stress of work and despair. 

Some of the men brought into the Anglo-Russian hospital 
had pieces of cloth, earth and grass still deeply embedded 
in wounds. One Russian soldier came in with the whole 
of his back a festering sore, and with fourteen different 
wounds. At one time when Lady Muriel Paget went to one 
of these hard-worked doctors for advice, he dressed the bad 
eye with the proper lotion and gauze, then, with the same 
gauze, swabbed out the unaffected eye ! I have not heard 
the result yet. 

An Austrian prisoner was told off to wait on the nurses 
working in the hospital, he had been a waiter at the Troc- 
adero in pre-war times, and he served up cocoa in odd 
saucer less cups in great style. 

When in camp a Russian orderly waited on, and did his 


best for, the nurses and sisters in their tent. Like most 
Russians he was very domestic and found it difficult to 
understand that there were times when his services could 
be dispensed with advantageously. 

The nurses had rigged up a sort of bathroom in their tent 
by stretching canvas on poles, the orderly was given to 
understand by the interpreter (Helen) that he really must 
not come into this sanctum while the nurses were having 
their baths : he showed his respect to their unaccountable 
English prejudices against entry while bathing by looking 
over the top of the canvas screen to make sure if anybody 
was there or not before entering ! 

Happily life is not all tears, even amidst the misery and 
suffering of war there are lighter moments. 

For instance, in the Anglo-Russian hospital at one time, 
an English sailor, named Ernest, found himself in bed next 
to one occupied by a Russian. The latter became greatly 
attached to the cheery kind-hearted Jack Tar. The Russian 
recovered first and on leaving the hospital bid a tender 
good-bye to Ernest, and — kissed him ! The sailor, much 
embarrassed, remarked later to Helen who was nursing him, 
" Of course if it had been an Englishman I'd have knocked 
him down — but there — with these foreigners give 'em a 
h'inch and they take a h'ell ! " 

There was also a little diversion one day when a most 
exemplary orderly who was acting soldier-servant to one 
of the oihcers, I rather think it was the Colonel but am not 
sure, at any rate, this well-behaved and excellent soldier 
either gained access one day to something stronger than tea 
or perhaps was suffering from shell shock and nerve strain, 
for he suddenly deviated from his former excellence by going 
into his master's tent and scrubbing all its contents with 
hot soap and water, including his valuable field glasses, 
cigarettes, cigarette case and other articles unused to soap 
and water. 

Another soldier, this time from Siberia and unaccustomed 
to any of the ordinary amenities of civilisation before the 
war, was acting as orderly to the bacteriologist in the camp. 


He was sent by his master to fetch him some water, he 
brought more than was wanted and was told so by his boss. 
The man looked hastily round to see where he could dispose 
of some of it, finding nothing and knowing his master was 
waiting, he poured the superfluity down his own throat ! 

Some one showed this individual one of those little " Teddy 
Bears " that are made to fit over three fingers. He was 
much upset, being quite convinced it was the devil pure 
and simple, nothing would persuade him to go anywhere 
near it, even when deprived of its uncanny semblance of 
life and lying limply on the floor. 

There was still another delightful person, a sergeant of 
most orthodox military bearing, who one day marched erect 
and stiff up to the officer in command of the camp and 
informed him with a majestic salute, " I beg to report that 
five cows have arrived for the commissariat, three of which 
are bulls ! " 

In the Russian hospital at Lutzk the nursing was of the 
most promiscuous order, pitifully overcrowded and in- 
describably dirty. It was a question of looking where to 
place the feet when walking down the passages. 

Austrian prisoners were utilised to carry in the wounded. 
When they arrived with a stretcher load, the unfortunate 
sufferer was simply tipped off on to the floor, the stretcher- 
bearers immediately departing for a fresh load to be treated 
in like manner. 

Lutzk was the base for the south-western front salient 
and was fairly lively, the sky being illuminated on three 
sides at night, shells flying about and bombs being dropped 
from hostile aeroplanes in the immediate vicinity. When 
bombs were dropped the sensation experienced was curious, 
one of the doctors on the spot endeavouring to carry out 
operations under these trying circumstances described it 
as " Bombelly " and all thought it descriptive. 

In front of the hospital and Red Cross camp were the 
Russian observation balloons and hard by the anti-aircraft 

Winding away to the right a long white road was visible 


for a considerable distance. Up one side of this, almost 
daily, a long ribbon of marching soldiers might be seen 
singing on their way into action. On the other side coming 
away from the front a long stream of white-covered springless 
waggons bringing back fragments of humanity ; men who 
had been singing on the road but a few days before, now 
mostly bearing what I call the " trench look " that baffles 
description, something grim, scared, enduring, nothing-can- 
matter-any-more look, and not a murmur or grumble from 
any of them, soldiers never grumble or murmur in stressful 
times, only when things are prosperous and comfortable. 
Some of the wounded when brought in are beyond 
words, they only wish to be left in peace in some quiet 

The Russian soldier is sad and morbid by nature, I think 
one of the reasons why they loved the English nurses was 
because of their brightness. When patients were sufficiently 
convalescent to take interest in everyday matters many 
of them spent their time trying to educate themselves, by 
practising wTiting and doing sums. Occasionally they asked 
the assistance of Helen and she was faced with problems 
and questions dealing with finance to which she was 
expected to give immediate and brilliant rephes. This 
she found trying, mathematics not being one of her strong 

There was one lad in the hospital with a badly injured 
leg, he had been told he must have it off but would not 
hear of it, so the poor leg was left growing hourly a greater 
source of danger to him. At last after his nurse had spoken 
seriously to him and explained the risk he ran he gave in 
and his leg was amputated, he then explained his reluctance 
to part with it. His father would never speak to him again 
for having it off, for he had written to his parents telling 
them what the doctor had said, and had received a reply 
saying if the leg was cut off he need " come home no 
more." His father had looked forward to his son taking 
care of his mother and working for her in her old age and 
of his being a help on the land, but what use would he be 


with only one leg ? He was to be brave and stick to his leg. 
Now the leg was gone he wanted to write and tell his 
people, but he dare not ; at last he summoned up suffi- 
cient courage to write the letter and it was despatched. 
There followed a long silence ; no reply came — no word of 

Some time later there appeared at the hospital a grey- 
headed, stern looking, finely built old man carrying a basket. 
When asked his business he explained he had come to see 

No. , an ungrateful son who had lately allowed his leg 

to be cut off. He then proceeded to roundly abuse the nurses 
and doctor for their share in the proceedings. When con- 
ducted to his son, he kept some distance from the bed heap- 
ing words of anger and bitter disappointment on his un- 
grateful offspring's head. No word of protest escaped from 
the cripple's lips, but his sad eyes looked longingly and 
perhaps reproachfully at his father. After some of his 
bottled-up misery had found relief in words, a revulsion 
of feeling seized the old man, his face worked with emotion 
and he burst into tears. Picking up his basket he placed it 
on the bed while embracing his stricken son. Presently, 
one by one dainties and treasures from " home " were 
unpacked and peace reigned between father and son ; 
the atmosphere of " home " was around them, that magic, 
blessed word that means so much to us all. 

The old father remained two days in the hospital watching 
the devoted work of nurses and doctor. On leaving he told 
them that when he went to heaven he should " tell 'em 
he once spent two happy days in a palace " ! 

Two Russian Red Cross nurses had a curious experience 
that seems almost incredible but which I am assured is 
perfectly true, and I wish I had more particulars of it. This 
is the story : 

The two girls were working on an ambulance train between 
the front and the base, they had heard rumours of the 
doctor on the train not liking the look of things towards 
the front. On taking their places in the train they found it 
beginning to move in the wrong direction, and not being 


satisfied with one or two things they had observed, both 
girls promptly jumped out. The train moved on without 
them carrying all their luggage with it. Presently they 
found themselves surrounded by a regiment likewise moving 
hastily in the wTong direction. The story tells us these 
two girls succeeded in making the regiment right -about -face 
and return to duty. How this magic was worked I do 
not know ; who they addressed, or if they simply held 
out their arms as barriers and shoo-shooed the regiment 

Whatever the method was, the Colonel begged these 
Joan d'Arcs to remain with the regiment, which for a time 
they did, wearing the boots and coats of dead soldiers. 
The girls were very anxious wondering how the authorities 
would view their action, and were expecting trouble. 

What these authorities said I do not know, but I do know 
that the girls have been decorated with the Cross of St. 
George upon the strength of the Colonel's representa- 

When dining in Petrograd some time after this, one of 
these heroines was taken into dinner by a big military 
official at headquarters. He related to her a wonderful 
story about two splendid girls who had, etc., etc., recounting 
the story, which was listened to as if it had never been heard 
before. The account gathered a little in the telling which 
amused her, but she did not betray having any previous 
knowledge of it . 

There has been splendid work done by women durmg this 
war, as well as by the brave soldiers, much that will never 
be written, never known. Some we know have died of their 
hard work and experiences. One young nurse I know found 
herself surrounded one night with five hundred wounded, 
no other nurse but herself and only one doctor to attend to 
them all, while waggon loads came up with hundreds more, 
waiting to be unloaded. It was difficult to know where to 
begin, a sort of despair seized her of being of no use ; it was 
so utterly impossible to cope with the numbers ; so many 
must die before they could be reached. The first soldier she 


helped had to be cut out of his blood-soaked, mud-caked 
kit, he had no less than fourteen wounds. 

Both doctor and nurse worked for a whole night and 
day without ceasing, yet many were not reached, day dawned 
for them in another world. 

When mixing with a fighting army amidst sad and 
gruesome sights one horror more or less seems to make little 
difference, a certain callousness, not of other people's feelings 
but of our own, must and does to some extent grow upon one, 
nevertheless it is startling on turning some quiet corner to 
find the dead body of a man hanging on the gallows con- 
fronting one. Yet this was the experience of one of the 
nurses I know who went out to Russia. She had never even 
seen a dead body in her life before she left home. The man 
in question was a Jew, I have a snapshot photograph of the 
incident. The notice above his head was in Russian. 
Translated into English it reads thus, " This man is hanged 
for spying and cutting Russian telegraph wires." 

The Russians have a particular liturgy for the men, very 
beautiful and impressive. It was used during a short service 
before going into battle ; the response to the prayers being 
at intervals, " Lord, have mercy." This comes from the 
throats of all present, sounding almost like a clash of brass 
instruments, yet human voices only. 

To look at a crowd of men in earnest prayer before a 
battle fills one's heart with tumult, and it is impossible to 
help that great Why ? from presenting itself in wonderment, 
that a merciful Providence should allow such things to be, 
as war is in the form we now know it. 

As the men cease from prayer and march into action I 
think most of them have forgiven those who trespassed 
against them, all forgotten and forgiven, with the great 
white gate open in front of them leading to Eternity. 

The goodness of Russians to their prisoners was very 
charming. The pay of the Russian Army is miserable 
compared with that of our soldiers, and we have not been 
accustomed to consider that excessive. 

It is to be hoped that when peace is signed England will take 


the opportunity to step into the shoes the Germans will 
have left behind them, for the benefit of Russia as well as 
ourselves, by investing some of our money, energy and brains 
in that at present most unhappy country. A journey to the 
Caucasus might be enhghtening, for there are many pos- 
sibilities there for business men's brains to cudgel with. 

I suggest that a sanatorium on a large scale for tuber- 
cular patients at Borjon in the Caucasus might be beneficial 
to the pockets of the authorities who ran it, and to the 
patients hitherto accustomed to make for the known health 
resorts of Germany. The pure mountain air is splendid 
and the sulphur baths and mineral waters are there waiting 
for those who need them. 

It strikes me England has been very neglectful of her 
opportunities in allowing Germany to monopolise so much 
of Russian trade. It would be laughable but for the pity of 
it when we think that only a few years ago Germany bought 
large quantities of cloth (valued at thousands of pounds) 
from England to sell again to the Russians at an increased 

I asked an Englishman who held high office in Russia 
before the war, how he accounted for our doing so little 
with Russian commerce. He replied, " Because our country 
is very slack. Agents come over from England representing 
some of our largest firms, but are unable to speak the 
language and quite unprepared to quote figures, cost of 
carriage, etc., all has to be referred back to the head of the 
firm ; meanwhile a German agent comes along who speaks 
Russian, knows cost of carriage and every possible detail 
connected with his trade, and he naturally secures the 
order. Then again the Germans are wide enough awake to 
issue their circulars in the Russian language and measures, 
even being so obliging as to provide them with newspapers 
free and in their own language, the papers of course repre- 
sent Germany's interests and commercial benefits. 

One great advantage the Germans have over us is in 
being on the spot, so to speak, therefore able to supply things 
cheaper than we can. 


Russia and Germany have their front and back door side 
by side. 

We have to thank Russia for giving to us one of the 
great scientists of the age in Elias Metchnikoff who wTought 
such changes in the old-fashioned idea of pathology ; or 
perhaps I should say who added so much to our knowledge 
of the processes of resistance to germs. He was great on 
the subject and study of longevity which the learned call 
" macrobiotics, "and he hoped and suggested that he had dis- 
covered the Elixir of Life in milk soured by an association 
of lactic bacteria which was to keep old age in abeyance. 

Unfortunately there must be some hitch in the practice 
of his theory, for he died at the age of seventy-one in 1916 ; 
but not before he had done valuable work for the health 
of the armies ; he it was who established the part played 
by phagocytosis in the arrest of infectious diseases. 

Bacteriology was the stern study of his life, and to him 
or Koch, possibly the two combined, we owe the discovery 
of the bacillus of tuberculosis. 

When first the idea of sour milk being good for us was 
started, I saw various friends struggling with it instead of 
the comforting four o'clock tea. They did not look happy 
any of them, and a few declined to prove its valuable pro- 
perties by dying soon after. I do not suggest that the sour 
milk hurried matters, only it did not hold the Reaper with 
the Scythe in abeyance. 

Besides drinking sour milk the learned man maintained 
we should eat little meat, and no uncooked vegetables or 

Personally I think if I had to live on sour milk and eat 
no fruit — I should give up the ghost — at once. 

I think Metchnikoff agreed with the philosopher Seneca 
(the tutor of Nero) who said, " Man does not die, he kills 
himself," as no doubt many of us do, with injudicious 

A book written by Metchnikoff called " The Nature of 
Man " is well worth reading. In it he says : " If there can 
be formed an idea of religion able to unite men in a bond 


of religion of the future, this ideal must be founded on scien- 
tific principles, and if it be true, as has been asserted 
often, that man can live by faith alone, the faith must be in 
the power of science." Here he is expressing what Charles 
Kingsley so often preached, namely the possibiHty of 
reconciling religion with science. The scientific world 
mourned this hard-working clever Russian when he died. 


English nurse's experiences in Russia — Lady Sibyl Grey and a 
revolver — Lady Muriel Paget's stories — A quaint prayer — 
Escape of Russian prisoners — An indignant commercial travel- 
ler — Washed in vinegar — A chaplain at work in Flanders — An 
interview — It proved important — How German influence gained 
a footing in Russia — Baron MeyendorflE at Monte Carlo — 
Presents his cigarette-case to the author — A wander round the 
Casino — A row between two women — A beautiful woman dis- 
appears — Various methods of making money — A young gambler 
— No programmes issued — A German spy — Author introduced 
to him — He is shot — Count von Hochberg at Dunster — He 
builds a hunting-box — But does not hunt — Orders his valet to 
" blow up the place " — A rumour — Strange discoveries — An 
exciting mothers' meeting — Some people are libelled — Lawyer's 
letters — The Crown Prince in Jermyn Street — " Mickie " and 
" Willie " have merry times — "V^'Tiat of Prince Henry of Pless ? 
— And Prince Kinsky ? — Baron von Eckhardstein — Misses the 
chance of his life — Concerning the Anglo- Japanese Alliance — 
King Edward sends an urgent telegram — Count von Biilow and 
the Kaiser — Their views of British Ministers — Mr. Alfred 
Rothschild speaks up — So does the King — Absurd secrecy- — 
Crown Prince's visits to the " Billie Carlton " opium den — 
Count von HeltzendorfE searches for him — A horrible discovery 
— A solitude d deux disturbed — The Crown Prince gets a 

Astounding stories are constantly reaching me 
Z— % from or of Russia. A friend who has lately come 
-^ -^ home from that country has given me an almost 
incredible account of the happenings in that land. Life 
and property are entirely things of the moment, both may 
be demanded of you at any time. 

An English nurse out there at the time of the Revolution 
was one day held up by a ruffian and told that unless she 
would be obliging and kiss him he would shoot her, he held 
a weapon in his hand in readiness. In a novel I suppose the 
proper thing would have been to say, " Never, I will die 
sooner," this nurse evidently considered " discretion the 
greater part of valour," and therefore lived to fight another 

M i6i 


Lady Sibyl Grey tells an amusing story of an experience 
of her own a few days after the revolution broke out. 

She was carrying out her usual duties in the Anglo- 
Russian hospital when a young student walked in followed 
by an armed guard. The students were doing police work 
(that force being at sixes and sevens and thoroughly dis- 
organised) and they found that the only way of maintaining 
any sort of order or justice was at the point of a revolver, 
so got into the habit of carrying one in their hands. The 
student who had come to interview Lady Sibyl brandished 
one aggressively within an inch of her nose, he was speaking 
fast in Russian and she understood him to be demanding 
all the wine they possessed in the hospital, to be delivered 
to him at once. 

She wisely agreed to comply with his request. 

After a time when the man had almost exhausted himself 
in his endeavours to make himself understood it became 
clear that instead of demanding wine he had come to say 
the new Government had requisitioned the wine shop near 
the hospital and it was to be given for the sick and the 
share of the Anglo-Russian hospital was two hundred 
bottles ! 

All this time the revolver was covering the nurse, evidently 
from force of habit and not from any wish to annoy. 

Some of Lady Muriel Paget 's stories are extraordinary. 
It wiU be remembered that she was the organiser of the 
Anglo-Russian hospital. She points out the " simplicity 
and unconcern about the Russians." In illustration of this 
she says that once on a tramcar in Petrograd one of the 
passengers was discovered picking the pocket of a fellow- 
passenger. A committee was at once formed amongst the 
other passengers to decide if he was guilty or not, the 
finding being in the affirmative, the culprit was at once bound 
hand and foot, and when the river Nerva was reached the 
tramcar was stopped and the man throwTi over the bridge 
into the river. All the rest then proceeded on their journey, 
resuming the conversation just where it had been left off 
when the excitement began, 


Lady Muriel tells another story illustrating the state of 
affairs in Russia after the Revolution. 

Any well-dressed person must expect to be held up in 
the streets and have his shoes and great -coat requisitioned 
by the mob, a revolver being held at his head until the 
de-robing process is complete. A friend of hers met with 
this experience, his fur coat being denianded, he pleaded 
that he had only just stolen it himself so ought to be allowed 
the use of it for a time at any rate. Apparently they saw 
justice in this and moved on, and the fur-coated gentleman 
was left in peace, thanks to his wits. 

Another story of hers came to me through a man 
lately from Russia. 

The revolutionists recognise none of the originally abided- 
by laws of God or man and hold meetings to discuss the 
dogma of their religions. On a certain ship of the Black 
Sea Fleet they held a meeting to decide whether " there 
is a God or not." After some argument and a fairly exhaus- 
tive hearing of both sides, the majority decided there was 
not, therefore they had " no use " for a chaplain and he 
was given his conge. 

Another committee appointed to rearrange the prayer- 
books composed the following opening address to a 
prayer in place of the orthodox one in a petition to the 

" President God of the Heavenly Republic . . . bring 
peace on earth without annexations and indemnities ! " 

Exciting times have been experienced by prisoners of 
different nationalities during this war whilst trying to 
escape. Ten Russians succeeded in evading their German 
task-masters a while ago, and arrived safely in England. 
One of them gives a thrilling account of how he escaped 
in a dust and refuse box, it is surprising that he lived to 
tell the tale. For the sake of others it will be better not to 
say more than this. 

It is not as easy now as it was even a year ago for anybody 
to come into England or leave it without his why and 
wherefore being made known, unless assisted by some pro- 


German authority. The dear old country is taking the 
King's advice to " wake up." 

A chaplain friend of mine was crossing the Channel a 
short time ago. During his frequent journeys to and fro 
he often met a commercial traveller making the same 
journey. On the occasion of which I am thinking the 
chaplain showed his passport and was allowed on board, 
but the traveller was detained and taken inside an office. 
He turned up on board some two hours later, the ship having 
been delayed for him, and indignantly described to the 
chaplain what had taken place. 

It appeared that the commercial had been told he had 
a foreign accent, which was true enough, he was then 
deprived of his clothes and his body washed with vinegar 
in search of hidden writing ; nothing incriminating being 
found he was allowed to continue his way. 

The poor man conversed of nothing but these indignities 
during the greater part of the crossing until he fell asleep 
from exhaustion. 

On arrival at his destination full of the steps he meant to 
take to prevent such a thing from ever happening again, 
the chaplain missed him once more and the train was kept 
waiting for some unexplained reason. Presently the 
traveller appeared foaming at the insult, for again he had 
been detained, undressed, his pockets turned inside out 
and his back painted with vinegar ; last time he suffered this 
indignity it was his chest and diaphragm that was painted. 
His mental attitude rendered him almost speechless, but 
the words that were articulate were swear words painful 
to the chaplain. While thoroughly understanding the 
necessity of these examinations it must be a very disagree- 
able experience. 

The chaplain was asked at one time to undertake the 
work of collecting the identification discs from off the dead 
at the front, to find out where others were buried, and write 
to their relatives giving them all the information possible. 
Whilst writing up the information and making huge lists 
in a tent at head-quarters in France he was asked if he would 


see a person who said he had somethmg most important to 
tell him but would not say what his errand was. 

Though very busy at the time the chaplain consented, 
and the importunate individual was ushered in ; he had a 
long story to tell of a wonderful discovery of his he wished 
used for the benefit of the wounded. The parson pointed 
out he was hardly the person to deal with the matter, the 
head army doctor must be informed of the discovery, and 
he was such a very busy person it was almost impossible 
to get in touch with him. 

However, the man seemed so much in earnest and so 
anxious that my friend said he would go and see if he could 
prevail upon the Medical Authority to see the man and 
sample the precious invention. On the condition that the 
chaplain would not allow more than five minutes of valu- 
able time to be taken up, the doctor agreed. 

The result of this five minutes and the discoverer's per- 
severance is that to-day the invention is an unspeakable 
blessing to hundreds of wounded soldiers. As far as I could 
gather it was an anaesthetic and antiseptic which when 
applied over bandages and dressings that have stuck 
enables them to be removed without any distress to the 
patient, all that is necessary being to paint round the sore 
place and over the bandages, after which they come away 
painlessly and easily. 

I enquired how it was we had not heard more of the 
invention, and was told in reply that it was not desirable 
that it should be better known at present, as there might 
be a run on the ingredients and we should not be able to 
have enough for our own men. 

It will be interesting to hear more of this matter by and by. 

While listening to people talking of Russia and how she 
arrived at the present crisis, it surprises me to hear how 
many speak of German influence and intrigue as if it was 
entirely a matter of recent years, or a something that 
happened in the night. A good deal of the discontent is of 
comparatively recent date, but German influence has been 
covering two hundred years, though not until after the 


Russo-Japanese War did Russia begin to open her eyes, 
and see things as they are, to resent being ruled by Germans, 
and seeing Russian trade and money pass into German 

As I am not writing this book for the benefit of school- 
masters or critics, who of course know all about Russia 
and her history, but for the large number of people who 
know little or nothing of that tragic country or how she 
came to her present unhappy climax, I may perhaps be 
forgiven if I briefly explain in common or garden language 
how it came about that so many Germans held posts of 
importance at Court and how their intrigues became so 
rampant, without dipping too deeply into politics. 

First, it must not be forgotten that the Russian Imperial 
family have been and are to a great extent German, being 
on the male side Holstein-Gottrops, while the ex-Empress 
is the daughter of the Grand Duke of Hesse. 

This in a measure accounted for there being a number 
of German-speaking officials around the Court, these in- 
dividuals have intermarried with other baronial families 
and so kept hold of Court appointments. 

Not so very long ago we found some of the most important 
posts being held by such names as Baron von Roop and 
Baron Meyendorff, these names being quite household 

Speaking of Baron von Meyendorff reminds me that once 
at Monte Carlo an agreeable man of that name was intro- 
duced to me ; I wonder if it was the same individual ? 
We became great friends for the moment and discussed the 
way to break the bank, as well as other exciting things. 

One evening I was returning by a late train to Beaulieu 
where I was staying, the people I was with also had a villa 
there. The Baron insisted on walking to the station with 
us ; it is only a stone's-throw from the saloon. 

Just as the train was leaving the station the Baron handed 
his beautiful silver cigarette case to me asking me to take 
one, the train moved off while it was in my hand. I held it 
out through the open window towards its rightful owner, 


but he stepped back bringing his heels smartly together, 
took off his hat with a flourish and put both hands behind 
his back. I made preparations to throw it to him, but he 
shook his head and in another moment we had left him far 
behind. I felt rather embarrassed, and handed the cigarette 
case to my friends asking them to return it to the Baron 
when next they went to Monte Carlo, they being much more 
frequent visitors at the table than I was. 

In the course of a few days I received a beautifully written 
note on gorgeous paper saying how unkind it was of me 
not to keep " the bauble." The writer of the note I re- 
member was verging on stout, had thick fair hair cut very 
short and square across the forehead. 

I noticed he had particularly nice hands, which he seemed 
to admire, judging from his attitudes, he had the square 
finger tips so indicative of capability and common sense. 
I remember his asking me why I came to Monte Carlo 
when I never played ? I did not quite know what to say, 
because I did not know why I was there. I do not always 
know why I do things. I certainly was not there to gamble, 
for I never play, neither do I bet on other folk's games. 

Various reasons have taken me to that delightful cosmo- 
politan and much-abused spot. There are times when the 
dulness and commonplaceness of life under grey skies 
amongst grey people, and with grey thoughts, become more 
than can be borne, when we feel that unless we seek the 
sunshine and pleasant froth and polish of a cosmopolitan 
crowd by the tideless Mediterranean we shall do something 

It is quite useless trying to explain one's feelings, so few 
would understand, and the country cousins would lift their 
eyebrows and prophesy something horrible. 

A visit to Monte Carlo is most refreshing, you always meet 
crowds of old friends, see the latest thing in fashions and 
come home feeling much taller and with more stiffness in 
the spine. It amuses me to see how apologetic some people 
are when you meet them there, they at once search for some 
excuse for their presence. 


I liked to wander round the roulette tables in pre-war 
days and look for the faces I knew quite well, from having 
seen them there so often. I became quite friendly wdth one 
or two old ladies whose habits interested me, and whom I 
always found sitting in the same chairs, grasping the same 
money bag, 

I was witness once to a heated altercation between two 
women as to who owned a pile of winnings on the table. 
No. I put out her hand to gather it in, No. 2 did the same. 
No. I called No. 2 an adventuress and other such terms, 
whereupon No. 2 slapped the face of No. i. The croupier 
was called upon to pay both at once, the Director dii Jour 
was appealed to and the parties were led away out of reach 
of one another, expostulating loudly. How it all ended I do 
not know, but I saw how it began. No. i was playing on 
an even chance and leaving her winnings on the table to 
accumulate. Now it is an understood rule or etiquette that 
you should touch your pile with the rake before the coup is 
played to establish your claim to it. Failing to do this there 
are plenty of people about who, when not being noticed, 
will touch it as if by accident and then claim it ; no protest 
having been made when in the act of touching. It then 
requires a Solomon in all his glory to decide who it belongs 
to. In this case I saw clearly it belonged to No. i, but it 
was no business of mine, and having no desire to have my 
face slapped I retired into a corner near an old lady with 
whom I had a speaking acquaintance, who was a regular 
attendant in the rooms. I asked her if she could tell me 
what had become of the beautiful lady we all remembered 
in previous years who wore such wonderful hats and was 
always dressed in white, whom we had often admired. 

My companion at once became mysterious and, screwing 
up her eyes, informed me that late in the previous season 
the lovely lady had in a moment of mental aberration come 
to play leaving her " lucky bean " at home, and though she 
backed all the odd numbers as usual, her luck was gone, 
and she ended in being " cleaned out." 

I murmured something sympathetic ; I think I said 


" Poor dear," or something quite unique of that sort. 
However, that was not the end of the story. The wrinkled 
old face and screwed-up eyes came nearer while she whispered 
" And she's never been seen since ! Her rooms are locked up 
by the order of a friend and none of her beautiful things 
are to be touched until more enquiries have been made." 

I did not hear the rest, the roulette wheel was spinning 
again, order was restored and the old dame went off to play. 
Everybody was being called to " attention " and to " make 
their play." 

There appear to be more ways than one of making money 
at the tables. There was one old woman I often watched ; 
she came the moment the doors were opened, bringing sand- 
wiches and a flask with her. She played a little on a system 
with a note-book and pencil in front of her and seemed fairly 
successful in a small way. As soon as the table became 
crowded and people were standing two or three deep behind 
her she very kindly offered to pick up their piles and hand 
the money over her head to those playing and unable to 
reach the table. 

How well those little beady eyes knew who to help in 
this kind way and who it would not be wise to assist, for 
quite accidentally, of course, in handing up the money one 
or two pieces occasionally got into the glove or sleeve, 
but the poor, dear, green beginner was so taken up offering 
profuse thanks for her kindness, and knowing so little about 
the game, that he or she were quite unaware they had won 
until they were told, and even then had no idea how much 
should be theirs, and were easily bamboozled ; so all went 
merrily until presently the old sinner would say she found 
the room hot, and perhaps the gentleman standing near her 
would like to have her seat ? There would not be a vacant 
chair all the evening probably, and people always sold 
their seats. 

Oh ! what a kind old lady, of course he would like to have 
it if really she did not want it any more. What is the proper 
price did you say ? 

" Well ! Yon shall have it for a louis ! " The transaction 


being completed though all seats are free, off waddled the 
old woman to try her luck elsewhere. 

Everybody you meet has a system, all of course — in- 
fallible (on paper). 

Wandering one afternoon into the room where trente-et- 
quarante was being played, I found the silent crowd sitting 
and standing two or three deep round the table covered 
with green cloth. There was no sound but the crisp crinkle 
of bank-notes as they were being placed under a weight at 
the end of the table. 

I looked round at all the faces. Was it possible ? Could all 
this anxious, weary-looking crowd be there for amusement ? 
Each one looked as if every note put down meant life or 
death to them. 

I was particularly struck with the face of a boy sitting 
at the other side of the table to where I was standing ; 
he looked no more than two-and-twenty, if that, but he 
must have been twenty-one, or said he was, to be allowed 
in the rooms : the rules are very strict in this respect, no 
one under the age of twenty-one is allowed to enter. 

This youth I was watching was staking heavily and 
losing heavily, his face growing whiter and whiter, and 
biting his nails until I longed to go and take his fingers out 
of his mouth. 

I dare not tell you what he stood to lose, you would not 
believe me if I did. He attracted a good deal of attention, 
and each time he played there was a sort of indrawn breath 
went round the table. Presently he took everybody's breath 
away by going what we should call " Doubles or Quits." 

I felt as if I was frozen to the ground. Where was the 
boy's mother — why was she not with him ? perhaps he had 
not got one. 

What had happened ? What was this scraping of chairs 
and buzz of voices ? Why was the boy staggering away 
with a white drawn face ? 

Because he had won and the bank was closed for the day. 

I looked for triumphant smiles on the boy's face but found 
none ; another young man was shaking him by the hand 


and congratulating him, but still I saw no smile, only a 
misty look in his eyes, and as he passed close to me I heard 
him say in a voice shaken by emotion, " Oh, no ! Never, 
never again " I wonder ? 

There is a fascination about these gaming rooms, the 
whole atmosphere is so entirely different to anything you 
can find elsewhere. You are transplanted to another hemi- 
sphere peopled by every description of actors and actresses 
of the world's stage, some by nature pitched too high, some 
by nature plunged too low, all meeting half-way 'twixt 
joy and woe. 

Every day fresh scenes are enacted, sometimes drama, 
comedy, tragedy, or broad farce : to those who can read 
between the lines the place teems with interest ; you can 
never tell what the day will bring forth, for no programmes 
are issued, but you must be silent and take your seat or 
there will be no performance. 

When I had seen enough I used to wander on to the sunlit 
terrace looking over the sea. It seemed to me the old Greeks 
were wise when they called the night " Euphron6," meaning 
the time of meditation. And as the snatches of music 
floated by me on the breeze I learned lessons of love and 
toleration for all mankind. 

Those moonlight nights at Monte will always live in my 
memory, there is something cold and aloof about the moon 
that makes one feel very small. Dear beautiful world, I 
love you and all your properties, sun, moon and stars ; 
yet what do you care for us, for any of the human crowd, 
your sun will shine, your shadows fall, just the same — 
the moon may hide her face awhile, the flowers shut their 
eyes and fold their arms in sleep ; but what is human life 
to all of you ? — Nothing ! If all humanity with its pulsating 
joys and woes were swept off the earth what would you care ? 
— Naught. 

I have come to the conclusion that some of the very 
agreeable foreigners I used to meet at Nice and Monte 
Carlo, and for the matter of that in our own country, were 
both there, and here, on business more than pleasure ; in 


these days of complicated intrigue it is hard to tell who are 
friends and who are foes. Spies walk abroad abundantly. 
To be a spy would no doubt be a very exciting Hfe if one 
could harden one's self sufficiently to do underhand tricks 

Without knowing it at the time I have spoken to a real, 
true, active spy and feel very important in consequence. 
It happened thus : 

Some friends living near the big flying school at Nether- 
avon in Wiltshire asked us to motor over and see them, 
saying they had just got a new chef — a real treasure — sur- 
prisingly well informed, superior, and with charming 
manners. Naturally we hastened to make the acquaintance 
of this paragon. After an excellent luncheon the chef was 
presented to me so that I might compliment him on his 

The man was a little above middle height, had penetrating 
dark eyes, and w^ell-trimmed beard, his clothes were well 
cut and he certainly gave the impression of being a superior 
being, and I rather wondered at his being a chef, but I have 
known some who were far and away more lordly both in 
appearance and manner than their employers. 

I made a few polite remarks to this interesting person on 
his being such a master of his art and so forth, he in return 
made polite remarks about its being a pleasure to make 
dainty dishes for appreciative people and so on. I noticed 
a slight foreign accent but nothing very marked, not nearly 
so noticeable as the accent of some of our own Royalties 
whose early days were spent in foreign lands. 

Shortly after my return from this visit, I received a letter 
from the chef saying he was thinking of leaving my friends, 
and would like to come to me if I was wanting a good cook ? 
It so happened that I did not. He then went (I am told) 
to the officers' mess at the Flying School and from there to 
a naval base, where a short time ago he was caught red- 
handed, with maps, plans, designs, and other important 
documents with which he had no business, and which would 
be valuable to the enemy. 


It was proved beyond all doubt that he was a German 
spy, and he was shot . 

What the man thought he would gain by coming to us 
I cannot imagine, as we are not near any great naval or 
military centre of consequence : no doubt, however, he 
would have found time to ride good distances on his motor 
bicycle ; to Minehead, for instance, which is within pleasant 
motoring distance, and that neighbourhood provided this 
part of the country with considerable excitement at the 
beginning of the war. 

The story is curious. 

About six years ago Count Conrad Hochberg, whose name 
proclaims his nationality, purchased a plot of land near 
Dunster, which, at the time, did not seem to be a very de- 
sirable spot whereon to build a house, the site being fully 
exposed to the Bristol Channel and difficult of access. 
Nevertheless, there arose by degrees a big building, which 
the Count referred to as his hunting-box and christened 
Croydon Hall. 

What more natural than that a person fond of hunting 
should wish to reside in the heart of the Devon and Somerset 
country ? but his neighbours were puzzled when the place 
was bunt — an accomplished fact — he did not hunt ! Instead 
of filling the stables with horses, and following hounds, he 
left the country, returning with a number of foreign friends 
and servants, also one Englishman who acted as private 
secretary receiving a very high salary, report said he was 
an ex-soldier who thought he would as soon work for 
foreigners as his own countrymen. 

The Count was good to the poor, lavish with his money, 
and popular in the district, I suppose the one naturally 
followed on the heels of the others. Much of his time was 
spent in taking long motor drives in every direction, chatting 
with anybody and everybody en route. 

When war was declared the Count disappeared and sent a 
telegram to his valet, saying " Blow up the place." This 
was handed to the police and the hunting-box passed into 
their hands. 


Poor, sleepy, peaceful little Dunster, lying with her head 
in the bosom of Minehead and her feet in the lap of Porlock, 
was rudely awakened by this social earthquake ; the in- 
habitants could talk of nothing else for months. They tell 
tales of many strange things that were found in this house 
built on the hill, including hundreds of rifles, huge packing 
cases of ammunition as well as seven thousand gallons of 
petrol and numerous maps and plans of the English coast 
and defences. 

Rumour insisted that the Count was met at Dover by 
some English people who thought it better he should not 
leave the country just now, but whether this is true or not 
I cannot say for certain. 

Every window in this hunting-box faced the sea, no ship 
or aircraft could pass that way unobserved : and no one 
could climb up any of the three roads leading to the place 
without being seen by those occupying the house. It was 
discovered that layers of seaweed were packed beneath the 
boards, presumably to make them silent. 

In the grounds large mounds of earth had been built up 
and hedges planted on top. While a huge hole big enough 
to bury the entire population of the place caused the in- 
vestigators some conjectures. 

Once when the owner was asked what this place was for, 
he replied — " For a cesspool." 

I wonder if the cesspool was intended for another well of 
Cawnpore, or Black Hole of Calcutta, to which the Count 
contemplated introducing the people of Devon and Somerset . 

A night watchman and a number of dogs of alarming 
countenance and manners guarded this extraordinary 
place, which sounds like some of the enchanted palaces we 
used to read of in our fairy-tale books when we were children. 

After the story became known many people in the sur- 
rounding country grew nervous, wondering if there were 
hidden bombs anywhere about, also who was friend and 
who was foe. 

The immediate outcome of this excitement was that some 
ladies in the neighbourhood attending a mothers' meeting 

Photo by Elliott &• Fry 


or some such philanthropic gathering, told their friends 
who were amongst those entertaining the mothers that they 
knew as a matter of fact that a house quite near, where they 
were holding their meeting, and which was occupied by 
some people rejoicing in a German name, was showing lights 
at night to assist the enemy, and that mysterious motor-cars 
were running between Minehead and this place all night. 
Everybody present felt crisp with nervous horror, while 
the parson presiding at the meeting felt it his duty to 
make the story known, so that it might be enquired into. 
The result being a number of lawyers wrote a variety of 
letters asking for explanations and apologies, or proceedings 
would be taken against them. Everybody libelled everybody 
else, and the local doctor was kept busy prescribing bromide 
and sleeping draughts for a number of patients who were 
mixed up in the case. 

The happy people who were not dragged into the row 
thought it all very funny, myself among the number. 

Eventually we were told the lights which had caused so 
much fuss were swinging lanterns to keep foxes away from 
the young lambs and the motor-cars were doing humane 
work in bringing doctors to someone who was ill. 

There are certain people in the West Country who thought 
it a great shame to say that von Hochberg was German ! 
that he was nothing of the kind, and that he was a very good 
man, and very lavish with his money to the poor round 
Dunster. For the sake of peace we will say von Hochberg 
is not a German name and that he was a very desirable 
person bent entirely on charitable dealings, but there is no 
getting away from the fact that he was a very intimate 
friend of the Crown Prince and was constantly with him 
during his last incognito visit to this country, paying large 
sums to try and keep the mad escapades and disgraceful 
proceedings of his friend and chief out of the papers, especi- 
ally the foreign ones ; as all were not blind, some recognised 
the long nose even when passing under the name of Mr. 
Jones or Robinson. 

The Prince lodged in Jermyn Street during the visit I am 


thinking of, and the Count stayed at an hotel I know very 
well in Mayfair, which has, by the way, now changed its 

The Prince called the Count " Mickie " in a most familiar 
way and he returned the compliment by addressing the 
Prince as " Willie " or " Caesar " — a merry time these two 
had. Hochberg was a smart -looking man, I once heard a 
woman call him " very elegant " ! 

There seems to be little doubt that the Count aided and 
abetted the Prince in his froUcs, but did his best to keep all 
dark, though it was not always easy, for when his chief 
over-lubricated, which was not an uncommon proceeding, 
he at times gave himself away. 

It would be interesting to read the diaries, if they have 
been rash enough to keep any, of some of the Germans who 
enjoyed the hospitality of this country before July, 1914. 

To mention only a few. What about His Serene Highness 
Prince Henry XV of Pless, at one time Secretary to the 
German Embassy in London, whose second son is called 
after the late King Edward VH ? and what are the feelings 
of that Prince's three sons, their father a German and the 
Kaiser's right hand, fighting against their mother's country 
which has sheltered her throughout the war. 

And what of charming Prince Kinsky, who came over here 
with Elisabeth, the late Empress of Austria, when she wanted 
to try and drown dull care in the hunting-field ? He was 
entertained royally by everybody and much Uked. A 
good man on a horse and had great spirits, always ready 
for a rough-and-tumble, or practical joke, like any school- 

He said he would rather be fighting for us than against us. 
Does he still feel like that, I wonder ? And it would be in- 
teresting to know how much of the information he acquired 
here from his erstwhile friends has been useful to him and 
his country. 

Baron von Eckhardstein was considered by many to have 
been the friend of England while German charge d'affaires 
in London in 1901. He certainly missed the opportunity 



of his life over the Anglo- Japanese Alliance. According 
to him the German people were dead against concluding 
a triple alliance between Japan, Great Britain and Germany, 
but that the Kaiser and Count von Biilow were in favour 
of it. 

We know that Lord Lansdowne, ]\Ir. Balfour, Mr. Joseph 
Chamberlain, the Duke of Devonshire, and, later. Lord 
Salisbury, were in favour of it. At first Eckhardstein was 
enthusiastic about it, but this was a time when the relations 
between great Britain and Germany were, what in diplo- 
matic circles would be termed, " strained." 

It had been decided between the Japanese and British 
Governments that they would ratify their alliance and then 
see if Germany would like to come in, and that then Japan 
and Great Britain were simultaneously to place the idea 
before them — spring the little surprise on the German 
Government. The very evening that this little arrangement 
was to be put into practice, an urgent message came from 
King Edward stopping it, and instead of an invitation to 
join in the Treaty if so inclined, a simple notification of our 
treaty with Japan was sent. I think the reason King 
Edward cancelled the original arrangement and turned it 
into a notification was chiefly in consequence of the speech 
made in the Reichstag about that time by Count von Biilow, 
in which he abused Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, and used 
unparliamentary language about our Army. I know the 
King had little confidence in Eckhardstein. 

]\Ir. Alfred Rothschild told the latter in 1901 that many 
of the British Ministers disapproved of the attitude of the 
Kaiser and von Biilow towards Russia, thinking Germany 
was trying to curry favour with her. Eckhardstein at once 
informed the Kaiser of what had been said to him, and the 
Emperor wrote to King Edward on the matter. When this 
letter was received Eckhardstein was sent for and the 
letter read to him. When the King arrived at the part 
referring to Germany's attitude towards Russia, turning 
to the charge d'affaires he said, " Qui s' excuse, s' accuse ! " 
and no doubt the Baron felt small, but there can be nothing 


small enough for his feelings when that part of the letter 
was reached in which the Kaiser referred to the British 
Ministers as " unmitigated noodles." He tried to turn it 
off and said of course that was only a joke. The King 
laughed and said, " Yes, the Kaiser has made worse jokes 
in the past, and may do so in the future." In this letter 
the Kaiser again expressed his feelings of friendship for 
England. King Edward with some dignity said, " I hope 
that is so," and made a few rather pointed remarks for the 
Baron to digest at his leisure. 

AH the secrecy and fuss over the Anglo- Japanese Alliance 
for fear Germany should get wind of it too soon amused 
me, for without doubt she knew all about it the whole time, 
was being kept well informed, but it did not suit her at the 
time to take any notice of it. Perhaps her relations with 
Russia had something to do with this. 

I think there was some truth in the assumption that 
Eckhardstein was a friend to this country while in office 
here, but who can tell ? One thing is, however, certain. 
He was arrested one Christmas Eve (I am not sure which) 
in Berlin during the war and shut up in the convict prison 
at Moabit, under the existing martial law, in consequence 
of some stringent criticism he was overheard making of 
certain phases of German policy. 

The Baron's chief faults were, he was a gambler, a fool 
and very extravagant. WTien war broke out he was a 
member of many English clubs, amongst them the Marl- 
borough, Garrick, Beefsteak, and the very, at one time, 
exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron. He was supposed to 
have a property near Shanklin in the Isle of Wight, but he 
only rented the place. I believe that he, more than any of 
those who in pre-war times basked in this country, will try 
to come back, if he can assure himself that some of his old 
friends will be agreeable to him. Lord Cork was one of his 
greatest friends over here. 

I met the Baron once or twice. He was good-looking 
and had charming manners, but I never trust anybody 
when their eyes are so near together, and it worried me the 


way he parted his hair ; the parting was not down the middle 
of his head in a Une with his nose, and it was not at one side, 
but an uncomfortable betwixt and between, which made 
his nose look as if it were crooked. 

He married Sir Blundell Maple's daughter in 1896, but 
she divorced him in Berlin in 1909, and is now married 
to Captain Weigall and is a popular hostess. 

Count Hayashi was at the Court of St. James's at the 
time of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. I was anxious to 
know his views of Eckhardstein, and discovered that he 
did not trust him. 

Hayashi was rather a remarkable man in appearance, 
his short, stiff, white hair, on his head, and running round 
his face, beard and whiskers all in one, and cut rather short, 
against his dark skin and brown black eyes, together with 
the drooping eyelids that so often denote diabetes and 
from which I believe he suffered, made up in combination 
a striking figure. He spoke excellent English and was 
charming to talk to, being interested in most things and 
well informed. It was a proud moment for him when the 
Alliance was signed, as he had always been keen on it, and 
had the handling of the negotiations. He was very careful 
in what he said when treading on dangerous ground while 
appearing almost rash, which was part of his role. I think 
it made other people more communicative. 

I was anxious to gather his views of some of our politicians 
and the men at that time before the public eye. By degrees 
I learnt that he was an admirer of Joseph Chamberlain, that 
Lord Lansdowne was lacking in some of the essentials of 
diplomacy, one of which he mentioned, that Lord Cromer 
was a diplomatist and a statesman who would serve his 
country well, that Mr. Balfour was too indifferent and over 
Lord Rosebery he waxed eloquent. He thought it was a 
pity, and many will agree with him, that Lord Rosebery 
was not properly supported by his party in 1894-5. I was 
pleased to find he agreed with me that Rosebery is an orator ; 
at all times his speeches are picturesque, I might almost say 
musical, and unlike many of the speeches we hear and read, 


there is always something we can carry away, some sentence 
that remains in our memory ; I was surprised to find Count 
Hayashi could repeat verbatim many such sentences. 

I do not think we sufficiently estimate the influence of 
eloquence. With the coming of democracy let us hope 
an Abraham Lincoln will arise from somewhere. 

Poor Hayashi was not a happy man latterly, he considered 
his services had not been properly appreciated by his own 
country : and he appears to have been a little out of favour. 
He thought it was because he had become a Freemason 
while in this country ; but I think some little difference in 
politics had more to do with it. At any rate, I have been 
told that the Count became very bitter and in 1912 retired 
from public functions, conflicts and politics, spending his 
time in his home. In 1913 he had an accident which neces- 
sitated one of his legs having to be amputated, and he 
never recovered from the shock. 

A much less attractive person than Eckhardstein was 
Count Ernest von Heltzendorff, who was faithful to no one. 
He certainly endeavoured to hide the CrowTi Prince's in- 
discretions when he was over here incognito ; and succeeded 
fairly well, thanks to the assistance of Count von Hochberg. 
But as soon as Germany was in difficulties Heltzendorff 
did not hesitate to give away the Crown Prince's secrets. 
The death lately of the actress Miss Billie Carlton recalls 
some of the disgraceful exploits of the Cro\\Ti Prince in this 
country which Count Heltzendorff and von Hochberg 
endeavoured to keep quiet, and, above all things, to prevent 
the foreign newspapers getting hold of the facts. The 
Crown Prince used to visit the same opium den that she 
frequented, passing under one of the several assumed names 
he adopted when here incognito. At Henley one year he 
was introduced to a pretty girl of about twenty whose name 
I must not give. They quickly became great friends, though 
she had no idea who he really was beyond being a rich man 
who was very attentive to her. The freedom of action 
allowed to the young women of to-day enabled her to go off 
with the Prince before he had known her many weeks to 


this opium den of Lung Ching where he had become a 
frequent visitor, having been introduced to the Chinaman 
by a friend Hving in Carlton House Terrace. 

Count Heltzendorff, missing the Crown Prince from his 
rooms in Jermyn Street and fearing he might be in trouble 
somewhere, started to look for him in his favourite haunts, 
amongst them the opium den. He was not there but 
gathered that he had been, and gone again, leaving the lady 
that came with him still there asleep, dreaming after her 
smoke. Heltzendorff recognised the girl who had been 
introduced to the Prince at Henley and took her home, to 
find the family away in Scotland and the house shut up 
except for the caretaker, but she undertook to look after 
the young lady who had " been taken ill." 

The same girl was with him in Scotland when a relation 
of hers found them together and gave the Prince a good 
thrashing. Von Hochberg this time had the hushing up to 
do. Some of these hushings-up were costly matters, but 
Hochberg was loyal. I never heard of him giving the Prince 

The nickname of Caesar, by which the Crown Prince 
was known amongst his intimates, was bestowed on him 
originally by von Hochberg. 

When retiring into the country for a little solitude a deux 
he gave instructions to the Count to open all his letters, his 
wife's included and reply to them saying, he was not well 
enough to attend to correspondence or business, adding, 
" Or tell them any damned lie you like." 

The Prince speaks fluent English, which was a help to 
him in keeping his incognito when paying little visits to 
the country, but once or twice a happy meeting was dis- 

When the Prince was in Paris he got himself into trouble 
several times if all I hear is true, but his kind friend von 
Hochberg acted as buffer between him and the consequences. 

I have not the pleasure of the Prince's acquaintance, 
but many friends who have known him well tell me he was 
very much liked in his own country. 


There was at one time a man named Hinkel or some such 
name who used to have a shop in the south-west district of 
London who was in constant attendance on the Prince when 
in this country. I have been told he was quite a famous 


The amount of successful spying that has been carried 
out by women in this country has not, according to my 
humble mind, been properly realised. 

It must be an awkward position for any woman with a 
husband fighting against the country of her birth, she must 
be torn asunder between her desire to help her husband 
and her patriotism, if she has any : but I know one or two 
Englishwomen who have married Germans who have 
become almost as German if not more so than their husbands. 
One that I used to know as a little child, after her marriage 
became fiercely German. Some time before the war she 
used to laugh at the English for their bUndness and want of 
enterprise. I think she came to the conclusion that we did 
not want to see, for some political reason, that war was upon 
us — a war that w^ould shake the foundations of the earth 
and nations. She spoke of the English as " Silly fools," 
and when I ventured to remind her she was English, she 
replied, " Oh ! no, I am not. I have adopted Germany and 
Germany has adopted me." Her husband was a high 
official of the German Court . 


Lord and Lady E in search of peace — In difficulties — The 

butler offers to lend them money — Flight to flat-land — Full 
of hope, doubt, despair — Some scourges — The way to live 
in flats^Some scenes — Tea in a Hen Club— Flight from fiat- 
land — Yorkshire once more — An original character out hunting 
— The author feels small — A surprise at tea-time— Our country 
manners — The sportswoman lights her pipe — We meet in 
church — Impressions left on the mind. 

I AM interested in watching the way my many kind 
friends and true are facing the present war-time finan- 
cial stresses and discomforts, and the methods they 
adopt. A few — a very few — have come out on top, having 
profiteered to some purpose ; they are washing their hands 
in invisible soap and chuckling. Others, who have lost their 
all, including those that made life lovely to them, have 
settled into a dull despair. Others again, though hard hit, 
have taken up what is left to them with both hands and 
begun afresh bravely, though in reduced circumstances. 

If this war had continued much longer we should have 
had to make our wills like that cynic Rabelais. When his 
was opened it ran thus : "I owe much ... I have nothing 
. . . the rest I leave to the poor. ..." 

We are still too near the mountains to see the tops of them, 
but we must carry on, and hope for brighter times and some 
return to us of what at one time in our lives we ventured 
to call " our own." Some of our efforts to carry on have had 
their funny side as well as depressing ; it is perhaps unkind 
to laugh at our neighbours' bitter experiences, yet a laugh 
often helps both ourselves and others through trying times 

Some old friends of mine Uving in the south-west, whom 
I must not name but many will recognise, having come to 
the conclusion that their land was no longer a paying pro- 



position, and the worry of trying to keep up appearances 
was not worth the candle, decided to let their place and 
retire into a flat in town. The advertisements of flats 
sounded so attractive, so economical and peaceful — what 
unconscious irony ! The treasured behef that domestic 
peace is to be found in flats is surely exploded now. I 
strongly advise all who contemplate Hying from the worries 
of households to think twice before taking wing to flat-land, 

and study the experience of my friends Lord and Lady E . 

For society has evolved a new scourge in the flat fiends, 
who condescend, in return for high wages and three days a 
week out, to make you supremely uncomfortable, also in 
the brass-buttoned and official-capped hall and Hft atten- 
dants who will not see you unless you have a shilling visible 
in one hand and another ready if you wish to have a cab 

Should you in moments of mental aberration forget any 
of these Uttle niceties of flat etiquette cabs will be strangely 
" scarce at this time of the year," indeed the porter may 
even be so preoccupied as not to know you are there. 

Any person wishing to feel a worm can graduate in worm- 
hood better in a flat than any other form of dwelling wdth 
which I am acquainted, and should they at the end of six 
months find a vestige of self-respect left I offer them my 
most profound congratulations, for they are built of stern 
stuff and as worthy of fame as empire makers. 

For those unacquainted with the peculiarities of flat-land, 

I give the experience of Lord and Lady E ; it may 

answer as an object lesson. These good people, wearied 
with the ever-increasing demand of spoilt servants and 
household necessities which had to be met out of a yearly 
diminishing income, felt quite cheerful when they had 
decided on this drastic step, little thinking the snares 
awaiting their footsteps. 

I think for convenience I will call my friends Lord and 
Lady Repent-at-leisure. 

The first crumple in their rose-leaf came when they nearly 
quarrelled seriously over whose business it was to give the 


servants notice, and break the news to them that they were 
leaving that part of the country indefinitely now that they 
could no longer afford to keep the place going. Neither of 
them had the moral courage to do this : Lady Repent-at- 
leisure told her husband it was undoubtedly his duty, and 
advised him to send for the butler and housekeeper and 
unfold to them their determination. 

His lordship, however, differed with his better half on 
this point, and man-like in a difficult domestic situation, 
declared it was quite outside his province, and under no 
circumstances would he interfere in domestic matters. 

This finely expressed sentiment (which, when literally 
translated, meant he funked it) was stored for future refer- 
ence in the storehouse of his wife's mind. 

So, perforce, she had to brace herself up for the ordeal, 
and, sitting up very stiff and straight, summoned the portly 
heads of the downstairs clan. 

I need not detail the poor woman's humihation. She 
began very bravely, sa3dng they could no longer afford to 
keep such a staff, and " regretted exceedingly," etc. etc., 
feeling fearfully apologetic, and as if the earth was shpping 
away from under her. The chmax was reached when the 
old butler offered to lend her some money at 5 per cent, and 
the housekeeper told her she was talking nonsense. 

Obviously, after this, the thing to do was to hurry away 
before any further humiliation overtook them, so the 
following week saw them in town, already feehng quite 
frisky and light-hearted at having shaken the dust of servant 
thraldom from off their feet. 

With large bundles of " orders to view " grasped in their 
hands, and prattling merrily to one another of the mercy 
it would be to hve in a flat with all its unbounded comfort 
and economies, they salhed forth to view their Meccas. 
The first in the selected list was No. i Hope Court — ^£400 a 
year — 4 bedrooms, 2 reception-rooms, bath room, etc., 
described as the greatest bargain in the market, situated in 
the best part of town, hght and airy, and all the rest of the 
usual patter. 


Dismissing the taxicab when Hope Court was reached, 
they mounted the few steps to the building, and entered. 
Seeing nobody about, they went back to the front door in 
search of a bell to ring ; here was a board with thirteen 
bells, all with different names inscribed above them. WTiich 
should they ring ? As usual, the woman was the first to 
arrive at the right thing to do — why of course, ring the bell 
of No. I, which his lordship did wdth an air of " I told you 
so," which, however, disappeared by degrees as he rang 
three times with a good pause in between each, receiving 
no answer at all. 

Fortunately, a district messenger arrived and rang 
another bell, so to him they turned for advice. He suggested 
they should ring the porter's bell — but where was the porter's 
bell ? With the brusque manner and tone of one in a hurry 
he replied, " Press the button on the left," indicating its 
direction by a pointing finger. 

So the lift bell was rung. No reply. " Ring again, my 
dear." Lady Repent-at-leisure complied \\dth her hus- 
band's request, but still no response, so in despair they were 
turning on their heels, feeling angry and dispirited, when 
the lift shot up containing a man in his shirt sleeves, with 
his mouth full of food, who shouted at them, " What do 
you want ? " With some dignity and the calm of good 
breeding, Lord Repent-at-leisure began, " I have an order 

to view No. I Hope Court ; would it be conven " Here 

he was cut short by the porter shouting, " Ring the bell 
and ask," which, owing to his mouth being bulged out with 
food, sounded like " Wingth ball in arth." 

Before they could explain that was what they had been 
endeavouring to do for some time, the porter had dis- 
appeared with the lift into the lower regions again, so in 
chorus they shouted after him, " Nobody answers the bell." 
Muffled echo from below, " Then they're out ; I can't 
help it." 

Thus ended the first morning's fiat hunt — two hours and 
thirty-five minutes — drawn blank. The only thing to be 
done was to try and find a cab and go back to the hotel for 


luncheon, which they did, muttering maledictions on the 
porter, the occupants of the flat, and their servants. 

Having refreshed their inner man, another hunt was 
started in a different direction, in hopes of better luck. This 
time the flat door was opened by an enormously fat woman, 
draped in a large bath towel to preserve the freshness of 
her greasy black gown, which was looped up underneath it. 
Then began the now established precedent of " I have an 
order to view," etc. The fat woman, who entirely filled the 
doorway, showed no signs of moving, but stood with her 
leg-of-mutton arms resting on each hip, with sleeves rolled 
up, and an oily smile, and asked, " How long do you want it 
for, my dears ? " 

This having been explained, entrance was permitted, and 
the electric light switched on to enable them to grope their 
way into and through the rooms packed with large furniture, 
looking, and no doubt feeling, very lonely so far away from 
the palatial residence of its younger days. 

Having viewed everything except the servants' quarters, 
with hearts sinking lower and lower every moment. Lady 
Repent-at-leisure asked if she might see the servants' rooms 
and kitchen. Here the fat lady waxed wrath. " Certainly 
not," she replied, " that is mine, belongs to me and my 
husband's privacies." Her ladyship pointed out, as her 
servants would have to occupy them, it was necessary she 
should see them as to size, etc. 

A blue glare came into the old woman's eyes, while with 
compressed lips she folded her arms across her ample middle 
and remarked, " Your servants, did you say ? No servants 
aren't coming in here but me. I am old nurse, and 'ave been 
here twenty years, and this 'ouse don't go without me." 
(Voice trembling with emotion.) 

Feehng that quite settled the matter, there was nothing 
to be done but beat a retreat, with many apologies for having 
taken up so much of her time, but " they had not been in- 
formed it was necessary she should remain," and so made 
tracks for the door. Meanwhile a Uttle manoeuvring had 
been accomplished by " old nurse," and she arrived at the 


door first ; once more her ample proportions filled the door- 
way, and this time with a palm outstretched. 

Lord Repent-at-leisure was feeling so annoyed and nettled 
he had not begun to look for a shilling, and had no intention 
of doing so ; he was not enamoured wdth the tone she had 
adopted with them. When this fact dawned in nurse's 
mind, she began in loud and strident voice to inform her 
hearers what she thought about them and their ancestors, 
not to mention their offsprings, of which, however, at the 
time there were none, which appeared to coincide with the 
old harridan's wishes and curses. Being now seriously an- 
noyed, his lordship told her there would be trouble if she 
did not move out of the way, and his wife became alarmed 
as she pictured her lord and master in the grip of the old lady 
while he put some of his jiu-jitsu lessons into practice ; the 
humour of the situation did not appeal to her at the time. 

After a few more good wishes had been expressed the 
Repant-at-leisures found themselves once more in the fresh 
air, with a feeling of relief. Walking a few yards in silence, 
the spirit moved them both simultaneously, and they halted 
abruptly on the pavement, as if by word of command, and 
in one voice said, " Isn't this awful ! What shall we do ? " 

Then the funny side of it all tickled Lady Repent-at- 
leisure 's sense of humour, and she laughed till the tears 
ran down her cheeks, and passers-by firmly believed her 
husband was bull3dng her, causing one feeling person to tell 
her it was a shime (shame) of her man to make her cry. 
This only added to her merriment, but her husband said he 
saw nothing the least funny in it, and begged her to control 

Between bursts of merriment, which she made worse by 
trying to suppress, and mopping her eyes with about 
three square inches of lace and French lawn, she tried to 
make excuses for her behaviour by, " Oh, dear, it would — 
oh, it would have been so — so funny to see you rolling about 
in the fat — o-o-h ! ha-ha-ha ! — fat old woman's arms while 
you — you tried to — oh-oh ! — trip her up." The situation 
was saved, and they both had to pretend to look in at a 


shop window, though they could see nothing, for they were 
both convulsed with laughter, after which they felt so weak 
they gave a small boy sixpence to go and fetch them a taxi, 
meanwhile not daring to look at one another for fear 
another paroxysm should be the result. 

A taxi having been found, they gave the order for the 
hotel, and after a drive through the air, became calm enough 
to return to the flat question without a fresh breakdown. 

It would be wearisome if I recounted all the fruitless 
searches for a suitable flat before one was found which 
seemed more promising than the rest, and which was taken 
for three months in despair. Two maids were engaged to 
do the work of the two bedrooms and two reception-rooms, 
as the agent grandly described the little box-rooms. Having 
seen the maids into the fiat and explained to them the heavy 
luggage would arrive in the afternoon, the Repent-at-leisures 
went to luncheon with friends, enjo5dng an enormous sense 
of relief, having at last settled on something, and fondly 
thinking, as it was a furnished flat, all their troubles were 

Returning to the flat at four o'clock, they rang the bell 
and ordered tea. It was some time coming, and when it 
did arrive the teapot was china, and had only part of a spout 
left, defying all efforts to place the tea in the expectant 
teacups, it preferred running down the outside of the spout 
into her ladyship's lap, and from there on to the carpet. 
Before this little detail was adjusted, one of the maids came 
in to say the fifteen packing-cases, the sewing-machine, her 
ladyship's weighing-machine, two chests of silver and two 
servants' bicycles had arrived, and where should they be 

Not until this moment had it occurred to either of them 
that there was nowhere to store anything. What was to 
be done ? A brilliant idea struck one of them, I am not 
sure which, but the hall porter must be called and told to 
put it away until the morning, and then it could come up 
piece by piece and be unpacked. 

So the porter was sent for, A message was returned say- 


ing he was dressing and would come by and by. Meanwhile, 
the luggage filled the rooms, passage and entrance hall, 
rendering it impossible to move without performing acro- 
batic feats, with the possibihty, if not probabiHty, of severely 
barking their shins. 

After a while, greatly to the joy of the new occupiers, the 
porter arrived, and stood in the doorway glowering, but 
making no suggestion, so Lord Repent-at-leisure said, " I 
wish, my good man, you would remove all this heavy luggage 
until we have time to unpack it." 

A grumpy voice replied, " Where do you want it re- 
moved to ? " 

" Oh, that I must leave to you ; perhaps into a spare 
room, or downstairs into the kitchen, or " 

Here his lordship was cut short by the porter saying, 
" There is no spare room, there is no downstairs kitchen, 
you can only put two boxes into the general box-room, and 
you have two down there already. Everything must be 
moved out of the front hall ; nobody is allowed to leave even 
an umbrella in the hall, and certainly not boxes." 

" Well, porter, can't you advise or suggest something ? 
What shaU I do ? " 

" No, it is not part of my duty to advise people, or pull 
about boxes," with which polite remark he left the flat. 

To make matters worse, neither of the maids had ever 
been in a flat before, and were standing looking helpless 
fools wedged in among the cases, swearing their bicycles 
would be ruined and they should demand compensation. 

Lady Repent-at-leisure, worried to the verge of tears, in 
a pathetic voice asked the maids if they could not put some 
away in cupboards and under beds, and so on. No help 
was coming from that quarter, for the servants said every 
cupboard was nearly full when they arrived with the belong- 
ings of the landlord's family, and were now full to bursting 
point before the heavy luggage arrived. 

Suddenly a brilHant idea suggested itself to Lady Repent- 
at-leisure ; she had been told there was a telephone, and 
though she had never used one, no doubt it was quite easy. 


The thing to do was to call through to a repository — she 
knew there was one in the neighbourhood — and tell them 
to send at once and take the heavy luggage into their care 
until it was required again. 

Having climbed over the packing-cases, hurt one knee, and 
thrown down a bicycle, she called to her husband to come 
and speak through the telephone for her while she endured 
the pain of her bumped knee. The poor man had likewise 
never used such a thing in his hfe before, though he had seen 
them used, and it had seemed very simple, so he cUmbed 
over the packing-cases with nothing worse befalling him 
than tearing his coat tails on a projecting nail. 

During all this time the servants kept up a running accom- 
paniment of " Never saw such a disgraceful state of things ; 
it was a fraud to bring pore girls into a 'ouse like that ; not 
another moment would they stop," and so on. 

The telephone being reached at last. Lord Repent-at- 
leisure endeavoured to speak through the receiver, without 
any satisfactory results, and after running through the 
entire vocabulary of his most intimate and cunning curses, 
gave up the attempt, and sent for the porter to show him 
how to use it. After this had been explained to him he said, 
" Oh, yes ! Yes ! I see ! Of course ! " and tried again, 
delivering a long message to the repository without having 
asked the Exchange to put him on to any number. 

Confusion was now worse confounded. The porter, who 
was standing looking on in scorn, was overheard telling the 
maids " These sort of country people should not be allowed 
away from home without their keepers." At this, both 
being country girls, they took umbrage, teUing him he was 
not up to much himself or he would not be where he was, 
with nothing to do but open and shut a door all day, because 
he was too big a fool for anything else, and other compli- 
ments of much the same order, the last being that he was 
nothing but a " hignoramus." 

Order was restored at last, and the porter seized hold of 
the telephone, called through himself to the repository, 
telling them to come at once, which order was compUed 


with in an astonishingly short space of time. The maids 
demanded and received a month's wages, board and lodgings, 
and departed with their bicycles. 

With the luggage and the servants gone, a delightful calm 
settled on the flat, a good deal of worry and annoyance had 
been crowded into a few hours, and it was pleasant to be 
able to breathe without having insults hurled at their heads. 
After discussing the situation, they decided to shut up the 
flat and return to the hotel, where they at once compiled a 
letter to the agent from whom they had taken the flat, 
requesting him to sublet it as soon as possible for anjrthing 
it would fetch. 

In the haU of the hotel they encountered the friend who 
had advised them to try living in a flat, because she herself 
lived in one and hked it. Into her ear they poured forth all 
their troubles, which seemed to amuse her greatly ; they 
thought her most unfeeling. 

We are all apt to think that best in general for which we 
find ourselves best suited in particular. Mrs. Hayman, the 
friend they were addressing, was best fitted for a flat, without 
any doubt ; she invited the Repent-at-leisures to tea with 
her the following evening, to see the way she managed in 
hers, being thoroughly happy and comfortable. They gladly 
accepted her kind invitation, and arrived punctually at 
five o'clock the following day at looi Amen Court. 

A small capless and apronless girl answered the door 
after they had cHmbed up three flights of dirty stone stairs, 
and informed them Mrs. Hayman was out, but was expected 
in every moment. 

The room they were shown into was very bare — no cur- 
tains, only a sofa, four chairs, a round table, and one or 
two milk-maid stools. 

Patter, patter up the stairs, and a clatter of latchkey 
in the door, announced Mrs. Hayman's return (she Uved 
alone; her husband was in an asylum), and she arrived 
breathless from the haste with which she mounted the stairs. 
Announcing that she would first show them the flat and 
explain how she managed everything, and then take them 


to tea at her club, as she never had meals in the flat if she 
could help it, preferring to feed either at her club or at a 
small eating-house quite near. 

With a comprehensive wave of her arm around the room 
Mrs. Hayman explained, " This is my sitting-room. Jolly 
room, isn't it ? " Fortunately she did not wait for an answer 
but continued all in the same breath, " The less furniture 
you have in a flat the better, but have a bright carpet and 
chintz." Owing to this room looking out on to a blank wall 
at the back of a public-house the rooms are dark. 

" We do not open these windows, flat windows never fit, so 
we filled in the half-inch gaps with paper and putty, and 
painted over it all to avoid the draught. When we want 
air we open the fan ventilators over the door which opens 
into a passage, opening again into the kitchen, which window 
opens into a courtyard, where we get beautiful fresh air 
from some nice clean stables. It smells so fresh and lovely 
in the morning, they begin work about five o'clock, which is 
grand for us, so wholesome ; the maid cannot sleep any 
longer, neither can I, so she gets up and does her work, and 
in the summer I go out — the early summer mornings in 
London are heavenly ; in winter I turn on the light and 

" You see, I have no curtains anjrwhere, they are a 
nuisance in a flat, and bring the washing bill up to a fright- 
ful sum. This sofa I am sitting on I had made for me ; the 
top lifts up, so I can pack away heaps of things inside — 
stores, knives and forks, hats, boots, linen and all sorts of 
things. I have to keep tea, sugar and soap in the house, 
so they go in with the rest. 

" That little flat thing," pointing towards an object lean- 
ing against the wall, " is my writing-table ; when I press 
this button it opens into a convenient Uttle table which shuts 
up again when I have finished with it, and modestly turns 
its face to the wall." 

At this point Lord Repent-at-leisure recovered his power 
of speech, remarking it was a charming table for a lady, but 
for a man, with all his business papers, ledgers, account 


books, leases requiring daily attention, etc., it would be 
quite useless. 

" Quite so, quite so," replied Mrs. Hayman, " but people 
with worldly possessions entailing such things would not 
live in a flat at all, would they ? " 

His lordship felt crushed, mentally resolving never to 
speak again. 

Mrs. Hayman moved on into another room with a wave 
of her hand. " This is my bedroom, a lovely room. One of 
the advantages of these flats hes in the small amount of 
furniture necessary. The bed is so near the dressing-table 
I can sit on the end of it and still be near enough to see in 
the glass to arrange my hair — that enables me to dispense 
with a chair. Then I have this cupboard for my clothes ; a 
wash-hand table combined with a chest-of-drawers (you 
have to be careful or the wet gets in amongst the clothes). 
I generally stand the jug on the end of the bed when I am 
using the washing-basin, but here again you have to be 
careful, for if you sit down suddenly on the end of the bed, 
the jug empties itself amongst the blankets, but that, of 
course, is only a trifle and soon put right. This small strip 
of carpet by my bed completes the furniture of my bedroom. 

" The great art of living comfortably in a flat is to have 
nothing more than you stand up in, and one change of 
everything, so that you never get crowded out. When you 
have finished reading a book, sell it, give it away, exchange 
it, or put it in the fire before bringing in another. If you 
buy a new hat, burn the ola one as the new one enters the 
door. The same rule apphes to most things. 

" Now come and see my bathroom, and you have seen 
it all. I only have a bath once a week, because coal is ex- 
pensive, and the water cannot be heated without it. The 
portmanteau standing on one end by the bath I use as a 

" You see, I only have £800 a year, so have to be very 
careful. My rent for this, unfurnished, comes to £250. I 
pay my maid 12s. a week, say £30 a year, and pay for her 
food another £25. I have an arrangement with a little 


eating-house round by the mews at the back, and I let her 
go there for her meals, it prevents her being dull, and I do 
not mind leaving the place empty, there is nothing worth 

It suddenly dawned on Mrs. Hayman her friends were 
not very responsive, and perhaps not very appreciative, so 
she took breath and paused, asking if they did not think 
she managed very well on such a small income. 

The Repent-at-leisures looked at one another for inspira- 
tion. What could they say ? Her ladyship recovered first, 
remarking, " It is most splendid for those who like it, and 
you certainly manage well, but, personally, I would sooner 
be dead than live like that ! " 

" Would you ? Why ? " asked Mrs. Hayman in a piqued 

" Because that way of living does not appeal to us. We 
should live in our flat, and not be out all day, for one thing 
Then, just consider, you could have quite a good-sized house 
even in town for considerably less than you pay for your 
fiat, while £800 a year in the country would be quite a nice 
httle income for you. 

" Of course, everybody to their own taste. I am only 
speaking of how it appears to me," continued her ladyship. 

" But, dear Lady Repent-at-leisure, with a large house 
I should want a staff of servants, and then where would my 
peace be ? I only pay this girl 12s., because when I am out 
I allow her every afternoon to take out the children of the 
Italian man who has the eating-house, and in return for 
her taking them into the park for an hour daily he gives 
her 2s. 6d. a week, an arrangement that suits everybody — 
the Italian is pleased, the girl is pleased, I am pleased, and 
I hope the children are." 

" What about the coal, did you say ? " 

" Oh, that is very simple. It comes up in the lift every 
morning ; the porter attending to this building keeps all 
the coal belonging to the tenants in cellars below, and sends 
up what is required every day. If by any chance we over- 
sleep ourselves and do not take the coal in when it arrives, 


it goes down again, as the lift is wanted for the use of all the 
other occupants of this block, and therefore cannot be left 
awaiting our pleasure, and we have to do without coal until 
next day." 

" Now come to the club and have some tea ; we will pick 
up a taxi at the end of the road." 

All these useful instructions had been rattled off without 
much pause for comment, for which the Repent-at-leisures 
were profoundly thankful, as the lack of the ordinary 
luxuries and comforts generally to be met with in civiUsed 
life had dumbfounded them. 

Arriving at the club, the first ladies' club they had ever 
been into, they waited three-quarters of an hour for some 
tea, which was very nasty when it came, and was bumped 
down on the table by men-servants who appeared to look 
upon the members and their friends as one of Ufe's crosses 
to be borne with as much fortitude and as little expenditure 
of labour or civility as was compatible with their being in 
residence on the premises. 

After this doubtful refreshment, good-byes were ex- 
changed, and the flat-hunters returned to their hotel sadder 
and wiser people. Neither spoke a word, but drove back 
in silence and went straight to their rooms, emerging in 
time for dinner, each with a note-book and pencil in hand. 

Feeling a little less dejected after dinner, they seated 
themselves side by side on a sofa and compared notes. 
Lord Repent-at-leisure opened the meeting by asking the 
very pertinent question of, " What is the advantage of being 
in a flat at all ? " Neither of them could find a suitable 
reply for some moments, and then her ladyship, with the 
look on her face of one who has solved a great problem, or 
found a great truth, ventured in a timid voice, she had 
hoped it would solve the servant problem and relieve her 
of the worry of them ; also there were, she understood, no 
rates and taxes to pay. 

" Granted," replied her partner, " but I have been work- 
ing it out while I dressed for dinner, and find that a flat 
suitable to our modest requirements in a part of town we 


should care to live in will, judging by the agents' lists, 
cost us £15 15s. a week, or rather over £800 a year, and even 
then be very small and uncomfortable, obliging us to have 
the chauffeur and footman sleeping outside. So I propose 
taking a house, giving us ample room, at the rent of £500 
a year, which will leave a good margin for rates and taxes. 

It did not take long, after settling what they would do, 
to find a charming house in Green Street, Park Lane, at 
rather less rent than the ;^5oo planned for. 

Flats are an excellent institution for business people and 
bachelors, who eat a hurried breakfast while they read the 
paper, and then rush off to work, not returning till dinner- 
time, and then only to dress, and return again to sleep. 
The servants then have plenty of time to put back into 
their places all the things that have been thrown on the floor 
when searching for a clean shirt which, owing to want of 
room, had been packed away on top of a wardrobe, above 
which had been placed the extra blankets when the hot 
weather set in, above which again were heaped all the motor 
great-coats and accessories, all these, of course, having to 
be hurled to the floor to search for clean shirts. 

I prophesy flats will not be the rage much longer ; they 
have reached their zenith, unless the owners make better 
arrangements for the comfort of occupiers, and engage 
hall attendants who are less rude and repulsive. 

Each block of flats should have a book in the hall which 
has a lock and key, kept locked by the owner of the flats, a 
duplicate key being given to each resident, so that they may 
write therein any complaints they have to make, or any 
remarks. Once a month this book should be inspected by 
the flat owners, or a tactful representative who would be 
able to deal with the contents and remove or smooth out 
the many crinkles inevitable in the daily life of those who 
dwell in flats ; it would also keep the attendants on their 
best behaviour. 

The flat owner, or his tactful right hand, might also be able 
to explain to those on the lower floors there is nothing to 
be alarmed at when the people upstairs water their plants 


outside their windows, and all the surplus splashes into the 
downstairs meat-safes and into the milk. It might also be 
consoling to know that London cats and dogs are so hungry 
they may be depended on to remove all the half lem_ons, 
bones, soup meats and vegetable refuse thrown into the 
would-be green piece of garden outside the bedroom 

New-comers might, in fact do, get disheartened at first 
when these little details are not explained away with the 
gentle, reassuring touch of diplomacy. 

Flats may answer as a half-way house, or a makeshift, 
but as a home in the good old English sense of the word — 
never. Should circumstance oblige anyone accustomed to 
a comfortable home to dwell for a while in a fiat, I strongly 
advise them to be very busy every moment of the time ; 
it is their only chance, for we are all happiest when we have 
no time to pause and think if we are happy or not. 

Life is a mixture of comedy and tragedy ; we rack our 
brains and our bodies for every pleasure they contain, 
thereby only hurrying up our own collapse ; we are all 
hungry for, and madly searching for, happiness and peace. 

Heaven only knows who has found it. 

My memory now carries me far away from fiats, streets 
and chimneys, and follows the Repent-at-leisures into the 
country, where they often took a house for the hunting 
season. The county that I love, which is always beckoning 
to me when I am away from it. 

At one time I hunted a good deal in the North from that 
home of sportsmen and sportswomen — Yorkshire. ^lany 
happy days have I hunted with the Hurworth, South Dur- 
ham, York and Ainsty, Cleveland and other packs. It was 
while hunting with the Cleveland that I met one of the 
most interesting characters and veriest sportswomen I have 
come across or probably ever will come across. Though I 
do not give the name many will recognise the character. 

I was staying wdth friends, who kindly offered to mount 
me. On arrival I was informed we were hunting on the 
following day. 


The morning was bright and cold. My mount was a young, 
only half-broken-in hunter, so when we arrived at the meet 
I thought it discreet to wait in a quiet corner of a field well 
away from the pack. Looking round to see if there were 
any faces I remembered, I saw near me on the other side of 
the hedge a very quaint figiure on a fiery chestnut, the rider 
of which also deemed it wise to keep well away from 

I must try to describe her, though words are bound to be 
inadequate. Picture to yourself an old lady of at least 
fifty summers, in stature about five feet four inches, thin 
and square, a figure I found she described as having " no 
nonsense about it," which is more able than any word- 
painting of mine, face weather-beaten and wrinkled, small, 
intensely blue eyes nearly hidden by unkempt little hay- 
stacks of eyebrows which grew out in grey, angry-looking 
bristles at all angles, and — dare I say it — a few seemed to 
have found their way down to her chin. The latter and 
her nose were of the nut-cracker type. Her jaw was square 
and stern. 

I never like that word jaw, it always sounds rude and 
vulgar, but perhaps that is because I was brought up with 
schoolboy brothers who adored the word. 

The old lady's face looked very small under a large mush- 
room-shaped hat, which almost entirely covered her rather 
pretty grey hair. The hat was devoid of all trimming of 
any sort or kind, and tied on by black ribbon with a degage 
looking bow under her chin. Her habit was an extraordinary 
arrangement, looked as if it was made of American oil- 
cloth, but of course it cannot have been, really. This was 
surmounted by a loose jacket fastened into the waist by 
a big leather belt. Hedging gloves and Wellington boots 
two sizes too large put the finishing touches to this 

As soon as I had an opportunity I asked my friend with 
whom I was staying who this interesting-looking person 
was, who, in spite of the strangeness of her attire, seemed 
to be thoroughly at home on a horse. He replied, " Oh ! 


Don't 3'ou know Miss ? " (I \\-ill call her IMiddlethorpe, 

though that was not exactly her name.) " I must introduce 
her to you, you will hke her, she is such a good sort, hves 
near us, people think her very eccentric, perhaps she is, 
but everybody likes her, and we have ceased to notice 
anj^hing peculiar about her dress or appearance, it is so 
part and parcel of herself, and a very delightful self. She 
is an old maid, and Uves alone with an ancient house- 
keeper on a picturesque farm. Two or three farm boys 
work under her, but she does a great deal of the work her- 
self, all her own hedging and in a most masterly way 
trudges up and down \\dth the plough. You may meet her 
often in the lanes leading a horse and cart, hauHng a load 
of turnips or manure, or breaking in 3^oung horses. She has 
pots of money, is most charitable, and an exceedingly good 
woman ; she is sister of that bishop they have just sent 
abroad, I forget where, saw it in the ' Morning Post,' I dare 
say you remember ! " 

" Yes, yes ! " I repUed, " but surely she is a httle past 
her first youth, and the horse she is riding seems to be a 

" Ah ! You wait and see how she goes, she's a ripper, 
a rum 'un to look at but a good 'un to go. I forgot to tell 
you she is very clever and deeply read. WTien she gets 
tired of ploughing she ties the horses' nosebags on their 
heads, and then sits under a hedge eating bread and cheese 
translating, or whatever you call it, Dante into Hindu, 
Pushtoo, or some infernal language of that sort." 

Here our conversation came to an end as hounds moved 
off. While waiting outside a covert being drawn I observed 
Miss Middlethorpe having some trouble with the chestnut, 
which seemed to prefer mo\dng backwards to the usual mode 
of procedure. Presently, hearing a crash, I turned my head 
to see what had happened, and espied the chestnut had at 
last succeeded in backing into some rather rotten wooden 
railings, and all three — old lady, chestnut, and wooden 
railings were down in a heap. I was preparing to go to her 
rescue but was stopped by a man near me, saying nothing 


offended her more than people taking any notice or inter- 
fering when she was teaching her young horses. 

At that moment we heard the joyful sound, hounds had 
found, and had evidently slipped away at the far end of the 
covert, so off we all went, though I cast an anxious glance 
in the direction of the old lady, it seemed so inhuman to go 
and leave fifty summers in the deadly embrace of the 
chestnut and rotten railings. 

We had a grand little burst of about twenty minutes, 
and my youngster behaved himself very nicely, the only 
thing that worried me being, he was too heavily bitted 
and kept shaking his head, refusing to have it interfered 
with, which is always a little disconcerting, especially with 
a young one, it is so much easier if they take hold a little. 
During this nice little run I found myself confronted with 
one of the nastiest of places — a yawning chasm too big to 
jump except on an exceptional horse, and I did not care 
for riding down on the nervous, rather fooUsh animal on 
which I was mounted, so got off and proceeded to lead down 
one side and up the other, thinking discretion the greater 
part of valour, when I heard what sounded hke a charge 
of cavalry coming up behind. Before I had time to realise 
what was happening and collect my scattered senses the 
old lady and the chestnut flew over the abyss and disap- 
peared on the other side. I felt rather small. Why had not 
I charged at it and got over as she did ? and I wondered 
if she had done it on purpose, or if it was a case of nolens 
volens ; but evidently the thing for me to do was to hurry 
up and follow in hot pursuit. 

After quite a good day we were on our way home, jogging 
that peculiarly fatiguing jog supposed to be pleasant to 
tired horses ; I hope it is, for certainly it is anything but 
pleasant to tired riders ; we were a cheery party, five of 
us hunting from the same house, and were busily engaged 
comparing notes on the day's sport, to find as usual how at 
variance we all were as to what the fox had done. 

One of our party made some remarks about the master's 
method of hunting. Our host in a gentle, purring voice 


replied, " In the North we think whatever the master does 
is right, and as ours pays quite half the piper, we consider 
he has a right to choose the tune." It served the man 
right, but I felt sorry for him, he must have felt so crushed. 
It may, however, be a lesson to him and the others who 
heard it. 

To change the conversation and cover his retreat, I asked 
my host if he had seen anything more of Miss Middlethorpe 
after our first run, but nobody had, and it was supposed 
she had had enough and taken her hunter home. 

The rest of our ride was made agreeable by accounts of 
the wonderful goodness and kindness of heart of the old lady, 
her prowess, and endurance in all weathers, the prices she 
got for her hunters when she had made them, and some 
reaUy good stories of some of her transactions with dealers 
who thought they were dealing with a fool. 

It was growing dark as we finished tea. All gathered 
round the smoking-room fire, pipes and cigarettes were being 
lighted, when we were startled by what sounded like a tap 
on the window, then it rattled violently. Our host went to 
see what it was, and pulled the blind up. In a moment the 
window was thrown open and his hearty voice was saying, 
" This is luck ! Come in ! How pleased I am to see you, how 
pleased we all are to see you ! But — what has happened ? 
Not hurt, I hope ? " 

I craned my neck round the corner to see what it was 
all about, and there outside the window, covered in mud 
from head to foot, carrying her saddle on her arm, was my 
friend of the morning. Miss Middlethorpe. When we found 
she was not hurt, we all laughed while apologising for our 
country manners. She quite entered into the joke and 
laughed heartily too, I don't quite know why — just good- 
ness of heart, I suppose. But she really looked very comic, 
five foot four covered with mud, carrying a saddle nearly 
as big as herself, the rest of her lost in the shadows of 
her mushroom hat. 

She was pressed to come in and have some tea, but de- 
clined, saying she was too dirty, but would sit on the win- 


dow-sill and dangle her legs outside if we would give her 
some tea there ; but we could not allow that, and spread 
newspapers on the sofa and from the window to it. She 
then strode over the window-sill, still hugging her saddle, 
and placed it on the floor beside her, nobody else was allowed 
to touch it. 

After she had been refreshed with tea, we again asked her 
to explain what had happened. I had been told she had 
great charm when I was out hunting, and now I came under 
the spell. Her voice, manner, humorous way of looking 
at things, and her wit certainly made a very charming and 
uncommon companion. What had at first struck one as 
pecuUar and grotesque was quite lost sight of in her delight- 
ful and refreshing personahty. 

She told us her chestnut had got a " swelled head " after 
negotiating one or two tidy jumps and thought it knew 
better than she did, and when she said, now we have had 
enough, it said, no, let us go into the next county, and 
proceeded to do so, taking all and sundry in its stride, till 
for want of breath he " concussed the earth over a binder 
in a bullfinch." She felt a bit giddy herself at first, and so 
had the horse. It took some time getting him on to his 
feet again ; she feared his back was hurt, so took the saddle 
off, fastened him up to a gate with his broken bridle, and 
was proceeding to the nearest farm for help, when a donkey 
in an adjacent field made a fool of itself with that silly 
noise it called braying. This so entirely upset the equa- 
nimity of her horse, it immediately recovered, threw up its 
head, broke the reins again, and took what she hoped was 
the shortest cut for home, which reminded her she ought 
to be on the tramp to look after it. All sorts of kind offers 
were made to drive her home, send her saddle for her, any- 
thing, in fact, to help her, but she refused, saying many 
pretty, graceful things about knowing she would find a kind 
welcome ; she always did, it was a second home to her, etc. 
She prepared to walk a distance of two miles, carrying her 
saddle. This, however, was forcibly taken from her to be 
sent home early next morning. 


As she started away from the front door she struck a 
match on the sole of her boot and lighted a most disreput- 
able-looking short pipe and disappeared into the darkness 
puffing away in evident enjoyment. 

So many pleasures had been provided me by my kind 
friends I quite forgot all about this dear old lady until I 
was in church the following Sunday. We were rather early, 
and I was interested in watching the simple, peaceful- 
looking country folk taking their places, when who should 
walk up the aisle into the chancel and seat herself at the 
organ but my dear old lady, looking much the same, only 
instead of a habit of sorts, she wore a short tweed skirt and 
coat, the same mushroom hat or its first cousin, hob-nailed 
boots, a walking-stick and a bundle of books strapped 
together under her arm. 

As soon as she had arranged her books to her satisfaction 
she began to play, perhaps to pass the time, perhaps because 
she loved it. There was no music in front of her, she was 
playing from memory one of Mendelssohn's sad Uttle prayers 
without words. How absolutely devoid of self -consciousness 
she was, and what a rapt little grey face ; as I watched 
and listened to her it seemed to me she had found what 
many of us have missed. Life with all its withering things, 
all its bright little lights put out one by one, seemed to have 
passed her by. She was like a Hghthouse, her light burning 
brightly, nobody noticing the structure or decorations, only 
attracted by the light burning within. 


Mr. Lloyd George — Is he a conundrum ? — What the Quakers 
think- — -The Prime Minister's early environment — The cobbler 
uncle — The lawyer defends the lawless — Lloyd George in a fury 
— The temperaments of North and South Wales— Forming a 
character — An annoying smUe — Repartee of yesterday and to- 
day — Sir John Gibson of Aberystwyth — Suffragettes complain 
of rough handling — -The Welsh people offended — Lawyers in 
the House of Commons — Lloyd George's first Budget — Demo- 
cratic royalties — Lloyd George makes a mistake — Lord Selborne 
has something to say — Some inaccuracies — Lord Northcliffe and 
Lloyd George — Mr. Labouchere's cynicism — Count Hayashi 
defines a diplomatist — A diplomatist teaches his wife — Harsh 
words — A meeting at Harrods — A political understudy — A 
wife's diplomacy — She hates it — Introduction of a foreign 
prince — Colonel Cato's financial stress — The prince to the 
rescue — Oriental cunning — An official rumpus — A big cheque — 
Obliging bank manager — An enquiry — A friend in need — A 
horrible day — Prevarications — The prince plays up — His 
Highness offended — Good-bye. 

I WONDER if anybody understands Mr. Lloyd George ? 
Still more do I wonder if he understands himself. I 
call him our Mr. Lloyd George, for we have learnt to 
lean upon him in a way that at one time seemed utterly 

There are many people, and some of those who know him 
best, who are puzzled to this day as to why he, the bitter 
opponent of the South African War, should have been so 
desperately anxious to prosecute the great world war with 
the utmost efficiency. It had always been the fond hope 
of the Radicals of a certain school — the Quaker school — 
that he would correctly reflect their ideas in the prosecu- 
tion of the war. His warlike attitude, determination and 
pohcy first surprised and then staggered them, and to-day 
he has been cast from them, ruled out of their circle as a 
demagogue and a Jingo. 

Undoubtedly in his heart he carries the courage of his 



convictions, but his heart has to be subservient to his 
subtle lawyer training. For instance, I think his heart 
told him that Ireland should be conscripted, but his lawyer 
training bade him " Beware." 

I think that to understand Mr. George even in a small 
measure it is necessary to look at his early training and 
experiences, as well as his early environment. It explains 
a little his temperament and his antagonism to the land- 

Our Lloyd George was born in Manchester in 1863, son 
of one William George, master of Hope Street Unitarian 
Schools, Liverpool, but his health obliged him to leave 
cities and return to dear, peaceful, sleepy little Haverford- 
west in Wales, which is a little village for which I cherish 
tender memories. William George started farming there 
in a smaU way, but died quite early in life, leaving the 
farm, children and work to his widow. Money troubles 
followed, and the home was sold up. Though very young 
at the time, the sorrow and indignity of this was felt by 
young George. He did his little best to help in household 
matters, and dug up the potatoes, trying to aid his mother 
in every possible way. 

A kind old cobbler uncle now came to the rescue and asked 
them to share his home in North Wales at Llanystymdwy, 
where Lloyd George grew to love the sound of rushing 
waters as they poured down from the mountains. He also 
grew to love his old uncle, who was a great character in his 
way, and is responsible for much that we see to-day in 
our Prime Minister. The uncle was a Nonconformist of 
rather a pronounced order, and grounded his nephew well 
in his principles, which resulted in the boy defying his 
Sunday School teachers, saying he objected to their dogma ; 
it did not coincide with the teaching of his uncle. 

The old cobbler took great interest in his nephew and 
wished if possible to give him some education and a good 
start in life. With this object in view the kind old man 
saved up all his money and spent his hard-earned savings 
on Lloyd George, who, thanks to it and his own ambition, 


at twenty-one found himself a solicitor, but without enough 
money left over to buy the necessary robe with which to 
appear in court. The amount required was not formidable, 
being about three pounds. This was quickly earned in an 
office, and he set forth into the world to do the best he 
could for himself by his wits. Naturally his sympathies 
were with the class he had grown up amongst, and he spent 
his early endeavours in defending the village wrong-doers 
when they were had up for poaching and taking things 
that did not belong to them. He was a friend of all defiers 
of the law. Once he had such a fierce argument with the 
magistrates sitting on the bench deahng with a poaching 
case that one after another they left the bench, refusing to 
consider the case any longer, so Lloyd George, his client 
and witnesses were left in proud possession of the court. 
I fancy he must have been turning over in his mind what 
would be the next best move under the circumstances, 
when one or two meek magistrates returned saying some- 
thing about they were sure Mr. George had not yet learned 
the etiquettes of the courts, and had not intended any 
disrespect or some such thing ; nevertheless George scored. 

The first case of any great importance undertaken by 
this defier of the law and order that he was supposed to be 
representing and upholding, was over the burial of a Non- 
conformist who had expressed a wish to rest beside a 
relation in a churchyard of the Established Church. The 
red-tape clergy refused to allow any Nonconformist to be 
buried in their churchyard unless it be in the corner where 
the nameless and suicides rested. 

It will be readily grasped how the lawyer lashed him- 
self into fury over this slight, and his feelings when the 
judge summed up against him. He appealed, triumphed, 
and, as far as Wales was concerned, his name was made. 

I know something of the Welsh, and to those who under- 
stand the Welsh Radical temperament thoroughly there is 
nothing very surprising about Lloyd George. 

North Wales, from whence he comes, particularly its 
western area, is intensely Nonconformist, and the Cad- 


burys and their associates have always presumed that 
there was Uttle difference between Quakerism and Welsh 
Nonconformity. No greater mistake could be made. 

The people of North Wales, like other folk, have their 
good points and their bad, but certainly their intense 
patriotism as members of the British Empire could never 
be questioned. Their love of Wales is deep, passionately 
deep, but a fight against ruthless oppression always did 
and always will instantly appeal to them. Austere Non- 
conformity has, in the opinion of many, brought a dreary 
note into their Uves, and the prevailing minor key in their 
music is characteristic, but the old fighting spirit is as 
firmly embedded as ever, and the average North Welsh- 
man has little sympathy with international Quakerism or 
any form of internationalism in the poUtical sense. 

There is a wide gap between them and the Southern 
Welsh in this feeling, simply because North Wales is very 
largely agricultural and residential, practically clear of the 
welter of industrialism as it is understood in the densely 
populated mining areas of the South. 

Mr. George is very largely North Welsh in his views 
and the very antithesis of wild-cat Socialism, and thoroughly 
individualistic. His personality and fighting spirit have 
won for him the affection of his constituents that will take 
some shaking. I suppose we must still call him a Radical, 
but with reservations. He has grown Conservative in- 
stincts, though I feel sure he would repudiate any such 

In his youth he was much loved after the cold, stern, 
restricted fashion of that era, and the impulsive, impres- 
sionable boy was in a measure thrown back upon himself, 
obUging him to form his own theories, come to his own 
conclusions, exercise the art of self -repression and the hid- 
ing of his real feehngs. He is a past-master in the latter 
to this day. Another factor that has had an influence on 
the Premier's character is that in normal times North 
Wales suppUes thousands of men to the Mercantile Marine, 
a service which has a fascination for its youth, born within 


sound of the breaking waves, and there are no more loyal 
people than its sailors. Amongst these loyal folk his early 
days were spent. 

Everything appertaining to Wales is a matter of real 
mterest to Lloyd George. He fought earnestly for the 
disestabUshment of the Church in Wales, for he very natur- 
ally said, " Why should Nonconformists support a Church 
to which they were no party ? " The Bishop of St. Asaph 
held different views, on which he spoke long and earnestly. 
Lloyd George, taking a leaf out of his book, did the same. 

There is rather a well-known story in connection with 
this campaign between the Bishop and Lloyd George. In 
hopes that some do not know it, I venture on its repe- 

There was a big meeting, I forget where, and Lloyd 
George was going to speak and expose the fallacy of some 
of the Bishop's arguments and principles. By way of 
opening the baU, Lloyd George's introducer said, " Ladies 
and Gentlemen, we all know the Bishop is a great liar, but 
thank God we have a match for him in Lloyd George." 

One of the latter's pecuHarities is that while he fights 
hard he almost invariably smiles and is good friends, or 
wishes to appear to be good friends, directly he has had his 
say. I have known occasions when this smile has exas- 
perated people into being rude. 

His repartee is well known and generally to the point, 
though not quite on a level with that of Sir Robert Peel! 
who in 1848, when Feargus O'Connor was denying the 
statement which had been made that he was a Republican, 
added that he did not care whether the Queen or the Devil 
was on the throne. Sir Robert Peel replied, "When the 
Hon. Member sees the sovereign of his choice on the throne 
of these realms, I hope he will enjoy, as I am sure he will 
deserve, the confidence of the Crown." 

Here is one of Lloyd George's, quite neat, but scarcely 
so well rounded and parliamentary. 

It was at a meeting in Wales. Mr. George stepped on 
to the platform and began, " I am here " but was at 


once interrupted by a man from the centre of the room 
sa^dng, " So am I." " Yes," replied Lloyd George, " but 
you are not all there ! " 

Another story, but I cannot vouch for the truth of it, 
and it came from a man who is not an admirer of our Prime 
Minister, who had been speechifjdng about giving Home 
Rule to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Someone said, " Oh 
yes, and give Home Rule to Hell." 

The repty came quickly, " Quite right, every man for his 
own country." 

It is not always easy to have a suitable repartee ready 
just at the moment we want it, but when the opportunity 
has passed they race through one's brain. 

The Old Age Pension Act with all its faults appealed very 
strongly to North Wales, where 5s. can be made to go 
further than in most parts of the country. Lloyd George 
scored heavily with it. One old woman who confided her 
fears for her future to her Nonconformist minister, on being 
told to lean on Providence, replied she would rather lean 
on Lloyd George's five bob. He is that rara avis, a prophet 
who has attained to honour in his own country, and he 
has the good quaUty of not forgetting the friends of his 
youth and his flight upwards in political Ufe. 

One of the men who appreciated his abilities and capa- 
bilities, predicting a great future for him, was the late Sir 
John Gibson of Aberystwyih. He was a Westmorland man 
who founded a weekly newspaper called the " Cambrian 
News " at Aberystwyth. He was a brilliant joumaUst, and 
his paper wielded enormous power along the shores of 
Cardigan Bay. 

Absolutely unconventional and fearless, he helped Mr. 
George in his early career consistently with his powerful pen. 

In August, 1912, Mr. George made a special journey to 
see him, much to Sir John's pleastue, he being then in his 
declining years. The town, hearing Mr. Lloyd George was 
dining with Sir John Gibson, soon gathered round the house 
and clamoiu-ed for a brief speech, which was good-naturedly 


There was a good deal of fuss, it may be remembered, 
after one of Lloyd George's meetings at Criccieth, when 
the Suffragettes attempted to make a disturbance. The 
facts of this rumpus are not fully known. The militants 
complained of very rough treatment. What really hap- 
pened was that some of the older men, getting annoyed at 
what they regarded as the antics of a collection of silly, 
hysterical girls, administered to them chastisement in that 
portion of their anatomy which a certain learned judge 
said not long ago seemed to have been especially designed 
by the Creator for that purpose. 

When Mr. Lloyd George is making speeches in the ver- 
nacular in Wales, his biblical allusions are a common feature, 
for knowledge of the Scripture by means of the Welsh 
Sunday Schools is very thoroughly instilled into every 
child. The small farmer or farm labourer living in the 
most remote district is quite familiar with the Old and 
New Testament. 

It is symptomatic of Welsh feeling that when Mr. A. G. 
Gardiner in the " Daily News " said things of Mr. Lloyd 
George that they did not approve, that paper was dropped 
wholesale in Wales. So bitterly was it felt that it may be 
years before it is forgotten. I dare say the " Daily News " 
will be able to survive the calamity. 

Admirers of the Prime Minister cannot help feeUng a 
little sorry for him in the throes of so many anxieties. We 
undoubtedly owe him a deep debt of gratitude for doing 
what we had no one else with brains and courage enough 
to do, but at the same time we must remember that much of 
the ferment, labour unrest and class-hatred he is up against 
is the result of his own teaching. He has no halo round 
his head, and lawyer's tricks do not make a statesman. 
More and more lawyers are finding their way into the 
House of Commons. There seems to be a general consensus 
of opinion, however, that lawyers are not either popular or 
successful in the House of Commons, but I can remember 
Sir Edward Clarke, directly after Gladstone's speech in in- 
troducing the Home Rule Bill in 1893, was brilliant. He 


dissected it bit by bit in a most arresting manner, but we 
have no orators now. In phrase-making I think Mr. Lloyd 
George can claim a little of Disraeli's art, for he can phrase 
and paraphrase his speeches so as to suit his audience, 
especially the masses, for he is full of promise. 

When dear stodgy old Campbell-Bannerman picked 
Lloyd George for one of his Cabinet there was much agi- 
tation and cries of what next. He was made President of 
the Board of Trade. After he had achieved a foothold he 
became less combative. He rather startled the old parlia- 
mentarians by his free-and-easy not to say breezy manner 
in the House. He would throw a cheery word or two 
amongst the reporters as he passed them, he had none of 
the gloomy " Touch-me-if-you-dare " manner some of the 
long-standing members wear. 

When Campbell-Bannerman died Mr. Asquith became 
Prime Minister — a lawyer again. He made Lloyd George 
his Chancellor of the Exchequer, His first Budget caused 
a perfect frenzy, he was called aU sorts of names for hitting 
so hard at the moneyed classes, everybody vowed they 
would sell their estates and the country would be ruined. 
Many have sold their estates, and it looks very much as if 
the country is going to be ruined, though not entirely due 
to his Budget, but more to his early teaching when he 
preached revolt, class-hatred, and upheld poachers, Uttle 
thinking what trouble he was laying up for himself. 

The House of Lords laid themselves out to kill his Budget, 
and he laid himself out to kill the House of Lords, while 
allowing himself some latitude in plain speaking, telling 
the House of Lords that they were men who had neither 
the training, qualifications, nor experience to fit them for 
their inherited tasks, and that their predecessors had quite 
possibly as little qualification ! 

The Lords did not retahate by saying that they at any 
rate did not stay in office regardless of their opinion for 
the sake of £400 a year. 

It will be remembered that on April 28th, 1910, just a 
year after its introduction in the House of Commons, the 


House of Lords passed the Budget. I was in the House 
that memorable night, and Lloyd George came in to hear 
" The King wills it," which by the way is always given in 
French, as queer an old custom as the Highland practice 
of drinking a health with one foot on the table. The 
Chancellor of the Exchequer was chatty and happy, but 
if looks could have killed him he would have been dead 
very quickly. I think he was aware of this, for he wore the 
smile he adopts when he knows he has been annoying. 

Mr. Asquith and Lloyd George had a tremendous pro- 
gramme — simply to do away with the House of Lords. 
They hoped the King would be on their side and help them 
to retain some vestige of dignity and caste, but they hoped 
and looked in vain. 

But our Royalties are becoming very democratic, though 
possibly not from choice. We have the Princess Royal 
married to the late Duke of Fife, Princess Louise to the late 
Duke of Argyll, Princess Patricia to Commander Ramsay, 
to whom she had been attached for some years before the 
engagement was allowed, or at any rate recognised. There 
may be another democratic wedding before long, but 
whether it will be approved or carried out in private remains 
to be seen. 

Little Prince John was by nature democratic. He rather 
took the breath away of his tutors and governesses by his 
early breaking away from the beaten track. More than 
once when addressed as " Your Royal Highness " or 
" Prince John " he replied, " My name is John." Once 
in his nursery days when told " Little princes must not 
behave like that," he told those in authority he was not a 
littla prince but plain John, so he could do as he hked. At 
this moment the Queen entered the room and said, " And 
I am John's mother, and he must do as he is told." 

The young Princes are becoming popular, and promise 
to follow in the steps of their grandfather, who was in- 
terested in and encouraged sport in most of its branches, 
which won the hearts of his people. They felt he was 


But to return to Lloyd George. There are some traits 
in his character I have found hard to understand. His 
inaccuracy, for instance, has on several occasions required 
some spirited explaining away, and it has detracted from 
his brilliancy. Again, whatever made him, in many ways 
a shrewd man of business, do such a risky thing while 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and responsible for the coun- 
try's finances as invest in Marconi shares ? It was most 
unfortunate and naturally occasioned considerable comment. 
Of course it was enquired into, and many who asked for an 
explanation wished they had held their tongues, for Lloyd 
George has a way of hitting back. If I remember rightly 
Lord Selborne had some questions to ask and looked rather 
small when Lloyd George had done with him, for his posi- 
tion, according to Lloyd George, was much less satisfactory 
than his own ! Personalities were bandied about somewhat 

Shortly before the war the House spoke to Mr, George 
about his inaccuracies and libels on individuals. This ap- 
peared to amuse him greatly, and he replied by indulging 
in a few more. 

Time and circumstances have wrought changes in us all ; 
our views have changed, which is only natural to aU thinkers, 
for the times have been changing rapidly, but it is at all 
times painful to see individuals who have reached fame 
by the ladders of friends in a position to help them, when 
they have arrived at the top, push the ladder away or 
throw it down. We have seen this happen many times, 
especially amongst politicians, and it was an unpicturesque 
act of Mr. Lloyd George's when he forgot how much he 
owed to Mr. Asquith and decided to throw him over and 
reign in his stead, for it was under Asquith's leadership that 
Lloyd George had risen to fame. 

Probably he felt it would be best for the country, and 
there are many who will agree with this view, but we 
are still too near the mountains to see the top of them. 

We cannot get away from the fact that he had been 
working towards this goal for some time. It must have 


been in his heart many times before it became an accom- 
plished fact. 

It was an unpleasant moment when Lloyd George forced 
Mr. Asquith's hand, and many felt sympathy with the 
elderly statesman being kicked out. 

I am sorry for anybody that stands in Mr. George's way. 
He will have a poor time, and with perhaps one exception 
is certain to go down, but much depends on whether the 
Prime Minister keeps his electioneering promises. If he 
does not he may be the one to go down. 

The NorthcUffe and Lloyd George's attitude is an interest- 
ing one to watch. At one time they were great alHes. It 
remains to be seen which is the most loyal, for both have 
so much they could say, and the question is who will come 
out on top ? I rather think I know — I might even dare to 
bet on it in a mild way. 

That delightful and incurable cynic Mr. Labouchere once 
said to me, referring to Mr. Lloyd George, " His accuracy 
may be relied upon when quoting Scripture." 

Some of Mr. Labouchere's sayings were decidedly cryptic. 
I remember asking him if a certain member of the House 
of Commons struck him as being a great diplomatist. He 
repUed, " I do undoubtedly, but I seldom Usten to what 
he says or believe him if I do." I suggested nobody was 
expected to take what diplomatists said in nuda Veritas. 
He then discoursed about diplomacy in a most interesting 
manner and gave me some brilliant examples of what to 
me seemed very like making black look white and bara- 
boozhng the unwary. 

Count Hayashi, Japan's clever representative in this 
country for some years, used to say the true diplomat 
combines the subtlety of the serpent with the simpHcity 
of the dove. He also said that in Oriental diplomacy 
there was no room tor scruples. It seems to me that axiom 
appUes to all diplomacy and in every country. 

Most of the stories I have known anything about have not 
been, to my way of thinking, very nice. The following is one 
which I am bringing out of the dark-room of my memory 


where it has been standing with its face to the wall amongst 
other negatives, some of which must always stay there, 
for they are too sad. The only possible way of telUng this 
story is by changing names and places. 

Florence was a very intimate friend of mine ; if there was 
one profession more than another she dishked and despised 
it was diplomacy. She said for a man to spend his time 
swearing black is white or white is black and thinking him- 
self clever when deceiving people and playing dirty tricks 
was contemptible. The principle of doing evil that good 
may come did not appeal to her : and yet fate decreed 
that she should marry one of the profession she despised 
and do her share of intriguing into the bargain. 

Colonel Cato was staying at Shepherd's Hotel, Cairo, 
hoping to regain health, and shake off the fever and ague 
that had made him a wreck. It was here he met Florence, 
whom the doctors had sent out for the winter, as her chest 
was not very strong. Her married sister was doing chaperon. 

Florence and Colonel Cato both being idle and having 
nothing else to do, proceeded to fall in love with one another 
at first sight, as the novelists say, though I have grave 
doubts that such a thing ever really happens. However, 
even if it was not first sight, it progressed very rapidly, 
for they were engaged at the end of three weeks, and 
married in three months, with some state and pomp, at a 
church in Mayfair, perhaps I had better not say where. 

Colonel Cato had very little money, but was considered 
a rising man, profoundly clever with his lying, and greatly 
assisted by having an angelic cast of countenance ; he 
really looked as if it was quite impossible for him to even 
prevaricate or do any of the things so desirable in his branch 
of the service. He was a man of great determination and 
ambition, meaning to arrive at the top of the tree somehow, 
it was only want of money that held him back. 

Florence had some money of her own, which had been 
left to her by her mother, so that was a httle help ; but 
her husband said if he was to get on he must cut a dash, 
no big posts were ever given to poor people, only to those 


the Government thought did not want them, but with his 
wife's money, connections and appearance he hoped to do 
great things. 

He was very proud of his partner, who was tall and grace- 
ful, with a beautiful complexion. With her help he hoped 
to bring off some coup of sorts, and get an appointment 

somewhere nearer than H , where he was due at the 

end of his six months' leave. With this end in view they 
took one of the small houses in a very favourite part of 
London, and entertained everybody likely to be any use to 
them either at home or abroad. 

Having had a good deal of experience in dealing with 
princes, rajahs, chiefs, pashas and big- wigs in other lands, 
the Authorities were glad of Colonel Cato's assistance, and 
were greatly impressed by the judicious remarks he occa- 
sionally dropped of how the Prime Minister had said certain 
important and very private things to him when they were 
having a Uttle friendly stroll together ; "he must be an 
important person if the Prime Minister treats him so con- 

Besides, his wife was a very charming person, and these 
parties were so well done, they might do worse than keep 
him at home altogether, perhaps in the Office ! At any 
rate, they must most certainly keep him at home until after 
the big commission in the summer, when so many poten- 
tates were expected. In addition to this, nobody knew so 
well as he did the boundaries of the different states and about 
the oil springs the Authorities wished to purchase. 

Flo was full of admiration for her spouse, his cleverness 
and brilliancy, also the way he turned all the " Bloods," as 
he called them, round his little finger ; at times she won- 
dered how he managed to do so much on their comparatively 
Umited means, but asked no questions, being quite bhnd 
with affection and admiration for him, he was so good to 
her, and so full of appreciation for anything she did or tried 
to do for him. 

How amusing it really was ! The men were so silly, so 
easily bamboozled, swallowing all her flattery, peacocking 


about on the tips of their toes, and doing exactly what she 
wished them to do. 

She had, however, one thorn in her bed of roses, in the 
form of a Mr. Fairfax, another poHtical who had been given 
to her husband to help him during the Commission. Why- 
she disUked him she did not know, but after sitting in 
judgment on her feelings, came to the conclusion it was 
because she fancied sometimes he sneered at her husband 
and disliked him — ^how dare he or anybody else dislike such 
a brilliant man as her husband ! 

One evening she had gone up to her room for the night, 
leaving Mr. Fairfax and her husband in the smoking-room 
arranging the details of who was to meet who at the station 
in the following week when everybody was to arrive in 
connection with the Commission ; she had left them each 
with a huge sheet of paper in front of him, on which they 
were also marking down a table of precedence for all these 
nobles, as it would be very serious if any mistake was made 
about that most important matter, and might quite easily 
throw down the whole meeting. 

Hearing rather loud voices, she thought they sounded 
very cheery and having huge jokes of sorts, then they grew 
louder, so she went to the top of the stairs which looked 
into the front hall. Just as she reached the banisters to 
look over, the smoking-room door was thrown open, and 
out walked Mr. Fairfax, speaking angrily. She clearly 
heard him say, " I refuse to have anything to do with it ; 
do your own dirty work ! ' ' He then seized his hat and 
coat, went out of the front door and slammed it. 

Going back to her room, she pondered as to whether she 
had better go down to her husband or go to bed and pretend 
she knew nothing about it ; perhaps as a diplomatist's wife 
the best thing would be not to know. 

When her husband came up, he made no reference to the 
episode, only saying he was very tired and sleepy, which 
she interpreted thus, " I do not wish to talk." 

At breakfast next morning he hardly spoke, which was 
most unusual, but when he went to give her his usual kiss 


before leaving the house for his work, he said, " That Fairfax 
is a bad-tempered chap, I am very anxious to keep him in 
a good temper just now ; ask him to dine with you alone 
one night this week, the sooner the better, and when you 
have fixed it up, call through to me on the 'phone, and I 
will arrange to dine at the club so that you will have plenty 
of time undisturbed to get him into a good temper. I expect 
he is a bit jealous of me, I am getting on so well, thanks to 
my beautiful, clever wife. But the chap's a fool, he is so 
very junior." 

" All right, Ted, I will do my best," and she sat down 
at once and wrote the following letter as nearly as I can 
remember it : — 

No. , 

Mayfair, W. 

Dear Mr. Fairfax, 

I am all alone to-night — take pity on me and come 
to dinner 8.30. I have some lovely new songs which will, I 
think, suit your voice ; we will try them over after dinner ; 
I will practise the accompaniments this afternoon. Ted is 
away, and I want to have a long talk with you ; I may be 
able, I think, to do you a good turn. Come and I Viill explain ; 
I am growing such a diplomatist, I never commit myself on 
paper ! 

Sincerely yours, 

Florence Cato. 

P.S. — Send word back by bearer if you are in, if not, 
telephone to me before one o'clock, after which time I shall 
be out. 

The answer came back by bearer : 

Dear Mrs. Cato, 

Thank you so much for your kind note. I am sorry 
I cannot dine with you to-night ; but will you have tea 
with me at 5.30 this evening at Harrod's Stores ? I have 
to be down there then to see about a heap of things that 


are wanted for the arrivals, for as you know some of the 
princes and chiefs are going to stay at hotels, and I have to 
see everything is all right— prayer-mat for one, spittoon for 
another, and so on, but really, joking apart, I shall be glad 
when it is all over. 

Sincerely yours, 

H. Fairfax. 

Flo sat down with this note in her hand, and read it 
twice. It did not take her long to grasp the fact that he 
had given no reason for not responding to her purposely 
rather intimate Httle invitation. It was evident he would 
not break bread in the house of the man he had fallen out 
with, but he appeared to owe her no grudge. 

Yes, certainly she would meet him and have tea at 
Harrod's, and sent word to that effect, then rang up her 
husband and told him what was arranged, so that he could 
come home to dinner if he liked. 

About 5.30 she arrived at Harrod's, and began wander- 
ing about among the portmanteaux and despatch-boxes near 
the restaurant (for it was before the rooms were moved 
upstairs), awaiting Mr. Fairfax. He did not keep her long, 
and came swinging along, quite happy and boyish, which 
relieved her mind a good deal. 

While they had tea, she did her very best to win his con- 
fidence, saying how much her husband appreciated his talent, 
how he relied on him, and all the rest of the patter neces- 
sary on these occasions, but the moment she mentioned 
her husband's name he at once froze and became mono- 
syllabic. Presently, however, he threw out what she 
imagined was meant for a hint, by saying, " Diplomacy is 
a dangerous, rotten game, and if some people I know are 
not careful they will get themselves into a mess, and gener- 
ally disliked— but I do not want to talk shop— I am sick 
to death of it, but," and here he looked very earnestly into 
Mrs. Cato's eyes, " I do most sincerely hope you will not 
under any circumstances allow yourself to be mixed up with 
any infernal intrigues." 


Now Flo knew that diplomatists always look for a motive 
or some double meaning, even if you only say, " How do 
you do ? " or " It is very mild for the time of year ! " So 
she knew there was something behind what he said, that 
there was a motive, and believed it was jealousy for her hus- 
band's position, so she must work him round ; Ted must 
not have a single enemy if she could help it, so rising to go 
in a most natural manner, she said, " Oh ! by the way, 

would you like that post at H we were speaking of the 

other day, if it can be worked ? I do not think it is filled 
yet. The pay is good. I think my husband and I could 
work it for you, as Ted has had the offer of something else 
which we are not allowed to mention just yet." 

" Thank you a thousand times, dear Mrs. Cato. You are 
awfully good, but — well," here he paused, biting his lips in 
an idle, abstracted sort of way, and then said, " I will tell you 
another time, if I may, I must be off now. I am really most 
grateful to you, and, if I may, will let you know in a few days. ' ' 

Florence went home, feeling she had not been altogether 
a success, and there was something in the wind. When she 
reached home she found her husband dressing for dinner, 
so she looked into his room as she passed to tell him she 
feared she had not been able to do very much. He kissed 
her and said, " Never mind, dear, don't bother about the 
boy ; he's a fool." 

After dinner, when sitting over the smoking-room fire, 
her husband took her hand, saying, " Little woman, I'm in 
a fearfully tight corner, and must have some money from 
somewhere, and very soon, or I shall not be able to hold on 
until I get my new appointment. It is most important that 
there should be no expose of our financial position, or all 
my years of labour will be thrown away ; nothing is ever 
given to a man who is in difficulties, or to one whose domestic 
relations are not happy ; they must at any rate appear to 
be happy. The latter is all right, dear, is it not ? But 
the money matters are a cause of grave anxiety, and I want 
you to help me, you are so splendid ! But for you I should 
not be where I am, you are so clever and tactful," 


" Dear old Ted, of course I wdll do anything to help you." 

" What a lucky man I am to have such a wife ! How 
few there are I could speak to as I can to you. Well, 
darling, it is this way. On Monday we have to go and meet 
all these foreign potentates ; I am to meet the Prince of 
the Cannibal Isles, and after all the ceremonies are over I 
want to bring him here and introduce him to you ; I will then 
be called away by accident, and leave you alone with him." 

" Yes, Ted, and then ? " 

" And then — I leave it in your able hands. I do not 
think I need say an^^thing more. The Prince speaks very 
fair English ; you might in the course of conversation say 
you know that I, Colonel Cato, take the greatest interest 
in his share of the arrangements now before the Authori- 
ties', and think it mil be a shame if his affairs are interfered 
with. Draw him out if you can, but I warn you, Orientals 
can see as far as most of us ; there is not much we can 
teach them in the way of intrigue. Be as friendly as you 
dare. I can safely leave you to manage this ; he will 
know what is expected of him in return for our help and 
hospitality. He may be so grateful that he vnW wish to 
shower jewels on you, to which, of course, I should have 
to object, they caU these things by such ugly names ; so 
you see, dear, if you go in for any little indiscretions I must 
not know, but you could, if you are wanting a little extra 
money, lodge the little presents in your bank as security. 
Do you see ? Eh ? " 

There was silence in the room — a silence that could be 
felt, and Colonel Cato evidently felt uncomfortable, perhaps 
he was sitting in too low a chair, so he stood up, pulled 
down his waistcoat, and moved over to the big pier glass, 
where he could see how his wife was taking it, without 
actually looking at her, which, for some strange reason, and 
for the first time in his Hfe since he had known her, he now 
seemed disinclined to do, but he could see her plainly in 
the glass — she was sitting just where he left her, absolutely 
motionless, gazing at the beads on the toe of her shoe. 

Colonel Cato, to pass the time until his wife had digested 


— ^the beads on the toe of her shoe, was making diplomatic 
faces in the glass, rehearsing them to himself — the smile of 
greeting, dignified and " because I must " sort of smile ; 
the weary smile of boredom meant to say, " Your preamble 
has lasted quite long enough, for pity's sake dry up ! " ; the 
severe frown of injured innocence when matters were going 
a little too fast. 

At this point he saw his wife move, so with a yawn put 
on for the occasion, which he pretended to stifle so as to 
sound very natiu-al and quite at ease, he said, " You're 

tired, old girl " but was interrupted by his wife rising 

and coming towards him with quite a new expression on her 
face, and one he did not like or think becoming ; she might 
have looked like that if he had struck her — or been unkind 
— but really 

His wife now stood beside him, and was saying, " Yes, 
Ted, I think I understand," and then, putting her hand on 
his arm, " but is there no other way ? I shall feel so 

" No, Flo, I would not have asked you to help me if there 
had been any other way out ; I have been trying to manage 
for a long time without having to worry you, indeed, I 
have already made one or two little arrangements to keep 
going, which if they come to light — and I cannot keep 
people quiet — will just about wipe me off the slate, and it 
would be such a shame when so nearly at the top, and all 
lor want of a Uttle paltry money. 

" It is really quite usual, old girl ; some people get 
grateful thanks and returns every day for arranging their 
little matters, and I am sure the Prince will be most grate- 
ful to you for using your influence with me to have his share 
in the rearrangement of his affairs brought to a satisfactory 
conclusion ; he knows there is not another soul who really 
properly understands them but myself." 

Another silence. 

" Very well, Ted. I never liked the profession, and like 
it less now than ever — in fact I may say I hate it, but I will 
see what I can do." 


" That is settled then," with a sigh of relief. " You will 
bring it off all right, I can trust you, you are a born diplo- 
matist, though you swear you hate it so." 

Mrs. Cato stayed at home all the Monday that she was 
expecting the Prince, and had a nervous headache from 
anxiety. At five o'clock her husband came in, bringing the 
Prince, whom he introduced. She was agreeably surprised 
at his good manners and quite possible English ; he put her 
quite at ease by at once saying how pleasant it was to be 
once more in England, the most charming country in aU 
the world, and full of such beautiful ladies ; and now he had 
the still greater pleasure of meeting the beautiful lady he 
had heard of so often, whose fame had spread to North, 
South, East and West. 

Here for a moment he paused for breath, and poor Flo 
thought, " Splendid man, but I shall never be able to live up 
to him ; my only chance will be to begin spouting poetry." 

At this point of the proceedings the footman came to say 

would Colonel Cato go at once to the Office, they were 

calling through the telephone for him. 

And he went. 

" Now for it," thought Flo, and her hands became cold 
and clammy. She began by asking how long it was since 
he was in England before ? Had he seen the people dancing 
at the Alhambra ? though she knew, of course, quite well 
he had not. Was he fond of music ? 

Then suddenly it flashed through her mind she had never 
asked her husband how much money he wanted, and this 
so upset her she found herself answering the Prince quite 
at random, and had to pull herself together. Tea having 
been taken away, she felt it was time to begin in earnest, 
so putting on an intense and interested manner she re- 
marked, " My husband is greatly interested in your affairs, 
he thinks you are such a splendid ruler, and has been telling 
them so at the Office, but promise me not to say I have men- 
tioned it to you ; if my husband knows I have spoken 
to you about it he will be very angry, it is of course a great 


The Prince became florid with pleasure, and wriggled 
about in his chair, crossing and recrossing his legs, until the 
antimacassar was in a heap on the floor, and he had kicked 
the leg of the little table by Flo's seat, upsetting the flower- 
vase containing a beautiful Marshal Neil rose which had 
over-balanced and was standing on its head on the table, 
while the water was running about among the books and 
precious things. 

The Prince had vowed by all his gods he would never 
mention anything that was told him, so then Flo tried again. 
" Tell me all about your beautiful country, which I long 
to see, and your beautiful palaces ; it must be lovely to 
be as rich as you are. I hear you have also the most splen- 
did jewels in the world. Will you wear them while you are 
in England ? I should so much like to see them. My 
husband cannot afford to give me lovely things to wear, so 
I admire them all the more on other people." Here Flo 
picked up the rose, with a thoughtful air, and replaced it 
in the vase, right side up. 

" Ah, beautiful lady, when you know me better, you will 
perhaps allow me to send you a few little things from my 
country. I have already brought some presents for dif- 
ferent people in this land. I would like to show them to you. ' ' 

" Now, dear Mr. Prince, you will be late for your dinner 
and so shall I, if we talk any longer, I have had a most 
pleasant evening, and shall look forward to seeing you again 
soon. Good-bye." 

Here the Prince stood up, clasped his hands together 
above his head, and rocked himself backwards and for- 
wards smiling, with his eyes shut in ecstasy, then opening 
them cried, " Oh ! oh ! peautiful lady, you call me dear 
Mr. Prince. Oh ! oh ! how peautiful ! I have never 
before been called ' dear Mr. Prince ' ; it is so peautiful ! 
Oh, say it once again, and let me kiss your hand ! " In 
his excitement some of the English accent slipped here and 

Flo rang the bell, which was answered so promptly she 
felt certain the servants had been listening at the door. 


As soon as the visitor had gone she rushed up to her 
room straight to the looking-glass to see if she looked just 
the same, for she felt she must have changed entirely in 
appearance after going through such an anxious time. 
She hoped she had gone far enough, it would not do to be 
too profuse on the first \asit. 

Meanwhile her husband was very pleased with her, and 
said, " The Prince is telling everybody what a charming 
lady you are." Nearly every day she met her new admirer 
somewhere, and he was quite convinced he had won the 
lady's heart, she had become so confidential, and when 
one evening they were sitting out on the balcony at a big 
reception given on purpose for the foreign royalties, he 
brought out of the folds of his embroidered jacket a case 
of something which he pressed into her hand, saying it was 
a little present to the lady of his kindest friend, a little 
gift of gratitude. Flo put the case quietly back into his 
hand, saying how very kind it was of him to wish her to 
have the little present, but her husband would be very 
angry if she took presents from other men, and that Colonel 
Cato was only doing what was right by pressing the Prince's 
rights on the Authorities at home, as he was such a perfect 
ruler, and so loyal to our country. 

The Prince edged his chair a little nearer, the light was 
rather dim, and Flo felt frightened ; he had opened the 
case, and even in the half-light a necklace of gorgeous rubies 
caught her eye. She took them into her hands to admire, 
never having seen such large stones before, or so beauti- 
fully set, but she firmly shut the case and returned them, 
saying her husband would be so angry, she really dare not 
take them, she would never dare wear them. 

Here the Oriental cunning came to the fore, for, putting 
his head nearer, he said in a low voice, " But the husband 
must not know," adding, "It is not wise that husbands 
should know everything that peautiful ladies do. If the 
lovely lady will not have my little things from my Island, 
what can her slave do to please her and show his respect- 
ful adoration, so that the jealous husband shall not know ? " 


" Well, dear kind Mr. Prince, if you think you could do 
it ^vithout my husband finding out, I should be glad if I 
had a little more money to buy pretty things for myself, 
and that would not get me into trouble." 

" Of course it shall be so. When shall your slave send 
the little thing ? Where shall the bank be ? " 

" Hush ! Do not let anybody hear you. I have an 
envelope in my pocket ; if you have a pencil I will write 
down the address for you. How kind you are to your little 
English friend." 

" Good evening, Mrs. Cato," said a voice behind her. 
" Will you come and have some coffee ? I fear you may 
catch cold out here ; it has turned very chilly ! " 

" Really, Mr. Fairfax, how you startled me ! You nearly 
made me bite my tongue. I did not see or hear you come, 
but now you are here I wonder if you will kindly send for 
our carriage, I have a headache and wish to go home," and, 
wishing the Prince good night, she took Mr. Fairfax's arm 
and went downstairs. 

On the way home she wondered if Mr. Fairfax saw her 
give the envelope with the address written on the back to 
her companion, and if he did, surely there was nothing in 
that — it might have been an order for the Zoo, or anything 
— it was her conscience making her uneasy. 

Her new friend was as good as his word, for by the last 
post the very next day came a letter from Messrs. Infant 
& Co., Bankers, saying the sum of £10,000 had been paid 
into her account ; was it to be placed to Colonel Cato, as 
she had no account there ? They awaited her instructions. 
If she wished to open a separate account, perhaps she would 
kindly call and sign her name in their book, so that they 
might be familiar with her signature. 

The very first spare moment she went to the bank, having 
arranged with her husband it would be better to keep it in 
her own name, and she signed her bold signature in the book 
kept on purpose. 

The manager was very obsequious, and came to the door 
of the bank with her. Would she like a cab called ? But 


no, she would rather walk. She was experiencing such a 
variety of strange and new sensations, she wished to walk 
and think. Walking, however, did not please her, she 
wanted to stand still and think. This of course she could 
hardly do in the middle of the pavement, so she walked 
up to the nearest shop window and stared in with unseeing 
eyes. What had happened to her ? What had she done ? 
All the morning she had felt ashamed, and went red to the 
roots of her hair when anybody spoke to her, or if any- 
body looked at her. She went into the bank with her 
knees shaking under her, turning hot and cold alternately. 

And now in a few moments only she had signed her name, 
and all nervousness had gone ; she came out of the bank 
feeUng proud and happy, with all shame gone. What had 
brought about this pleasing change ? Was it, could it be 
simple possession did it ? Or was it relief that the finishing 
stroke had been put to an anxious game ? Or was it be- 
cause now all would be easy for her dear Ted ? She came 
at last to the conclusion it was a feeling of relief now it had 
all worked out so well, and having arrived at this con- 
clusion was able to continue her journey home, and not till 
then did she discover she had been standing staring at a 
window full of Messrs. Tiger's jam tarts, scones and puffs 
so unseeing had been her eyes. 

How splendidly everything had turned out ! How lovely 
to have all debts paid, plenty in hand, and the Prince only 
too anxious to heap more on her ; but he was causing her 
some anxiety ; he was growing so familiar, and when she and 
her husband were talking over the situation, she explained 
this to him, and said how petted and like a spoilt child he 
had become if she was not alone when he called to see her. 

Colonel Cato pointed out how soon the Prince would be 
returning to his own country, and that if he became too 
pressing the only thing would be, she must have appendi- 
citis or influenza and be unable to see him ; and he would 
order a load or two of straw to be put down outside the 
house ; the man could not after that be annoyed if he did 
not see her when he called. 


But she decided that she could not be spared to have 
any illness just then, with so many jealous, quarrelsome 
people about, and as soon as it became known her man 
was to be made a K.C.B., and had been given the coveted 

post of Chief Commissioner at , everybody would be 

rabid, and she must hold her retaining fee for him by keep- 
ing eyes and ears open — forewarned being forearmed. 

Sitting busily answering invitations one morning, she 
suddenly remembered she had never answered the letter 
her husband had pushed into her hand just as he started 
for the big reception given in honour of all the Royalties ; 
he had said it was a begging letter, of which he received 
many, and she had put it in her pocket and used the en- 
velope to write the address on the back of it for the Prince 
that night on the balcony. What on earth had she done 
with the inside ? She must ask her husband who it was 
from, and see if it was important. 

Hearing the door open behind her, without looking up 
she said, " Is that you, Ted ? " 

" Yes, I have just had an urgent note from the Office ; 
they wish to see me on a matter of some importance which 
they trust I shall be able to explain. Hope to Heaven they 
have not got wind of our little transaction ; they caU these 
things by such silly names — bribery, corruption, and 
so on." 

Hardly had her husband left her when Mr. Fairfax was 
announced, full of apologies for being so early. He was 
looking very worried, and green with it. 

" What on earth is the matter, Mr. Fairfax ? Are you 
iU? " 

" Yes ! No ! Oh, both ! But can I speak to you where 
no servants can hear us ? " 

" Come through into my boudoir. We shall be safe 

" Dear Mrs. Cato, you have always been so kind to me, 
I thought I would come and tell you — no, warn you — no, 
to explain to you. I don't know haw to put it. Your 
husband is my boss for the time, and though I have several 


times refused to do things which I consider a little outside 
the latitude allowed in diplomacy, and we have had differ- 
ences of opinion, yet I have received so much kindness in 
this house from you both, I want to tell you." 

" Yes, yes ! Go on ! What are you beating about the 
bush for ? If there is anything yuu want to say, for good- 
ness' sake say it, and have done with it." 

" Perhaps that wiU be best. The authorities have got 

hold of a story, something about Prince having bribed 

your husband by a large cheque to arrange certain things 
in his favour. It is very awkward, for it certainly has been 
arranged very favourably for the Prince, and the smaller 
fry are discontented and up in arms, and one of them has 
somehow got hold of an envelope with your husband's name 
and address on it, and at the back of it his banker's address. 

" As far as I can gather, the Prince was being watched, 
and he was seen to write a big cheque and send it to his 
bank. Of course, if this can be proved, it will be the end of 
Cato's services in the diplomatic service, or any other ser- 
vice I expect for that matter, so I just came away the 
first moment I could be spared to see if you knew anything 
about the cheque, and if I could be any use." 

" No doubt you mean it very kindly, Mr. Fairfax, but 
it is really too absurd. Certainly not ! My husband would 
have nothing to do wdth any such transaction. They must 
all be mad ! " 

" But siu^ely there must be some grounds for this sus- 
picion, and if there is I do beg you to tell me if you know 
anything about this cheque. I would like to try and save 
— the boss — if possible, but my hands are tied by working 
in the dark, and it is such a serious matter — not a moment 
to be lost. I have very grave fears 3'Our husband has done 
something irregular, for before these people came over, he 
asked me to arrange something of the kind for him, as he 
was so hard up, but I dechned, and told him to do his dirty 
work himself." 

Flo said, " Perhaps I had better tell you the Prince gave 
me a present as a little return for all the trouble we have 


taken to make this visit pleasant ; we have been put to 
great expense, and are not rich people, so it is really quite 

Mr. Fairfax rose, and began walking up and down the 
room excitedly, lighted a cigarette, and began smoking 
without asking permission, though he was in the boudoir ; 
he did it mechanically, hardly knowing what he was doing. 

Stopping suddenly in front of Flo, he said, " How does 

it happen Prince has, or rather had, an envelope 

addressed to Colonel Cato, and on the back of it written, 
' Send to Messrs. Infant & Co.' They are, I believe, your 
bankers ? " 

" Pray do not be too melodramatic, the answer is simple 
enough. My husband, as is his wont when begging letters 
arrive, handed it to me to answer. It happened to be in my 

pocket at the time Prince asked where he might send 

my little present, and I wrote the address on the back. It 
had nothing whatever to do with my husband. Nothing 
so very criminal after all, is it ? " and she gave a laugh 
meant to be careless. 

Still Fairfax strode up and down the room lost in thought, 
then throwing his cigarette into the fender, he came up 
close to Flo and said very quietly and gravely, " It's too 

" Who is too thin ? What is too thin ? '" 

" I strongly advise you, Mrs. Cato, to give up fencing 
with me, and while there is still time help me to save your 
husband from ruin. The authorities will think it just as 
bad your having received presents as if it had been sent to 
your husband ; but I chink if you can keep your head 
and give up pretending, I may be able to pull him through. 
He must say that cheque was given to you for charity. 
Is there any particular charity you are interested in ? 
Did I not see your name the other day heading a list of 
subscriptions for the Society for Prevention of Criminals ? " 

" Yes, I am the secretary." 

" Good ! You keep a receipt-book, I presume ? " 



" Well, sit down and write a receipt made out to the 
Prince and date it the day he paid the cheque into your 
bank. Be quick. Give it to me and I \vi\l take it to the 
Prince to produce, if asked any questions, if only I can get 
there in time to prevent him gi\dng the show away. He 
must say he gave it to you for charity, and you placed it 
in your bank temporarily. ]\Ieanwhile you must go to the 
bank and tell them they are only to hold it until you have 
arranged which charity you decide is most deserving of 
help, out of the many you are interested in." 

" Mr. Fairfax, you really are great. W^at a brain you 
have ! " 

" I must go at once, Mrs. Cato. If anybody asks to see 
you, say you are not well enough to see them, for the less 
said at present the better." 

" May I ask before you go what put this idea into people's 
heads that my husband had been bribed by the Prince ? " 

" Never mind about that now. Did I hear the telephone ? 
Will you see if it is Colonel Cato wishing to speak to you ? 
I shall know then better what he has said." 

Flo went to the telephone, and returned, sa^dng it was 
from the bank, stating enquiries had been made as to 
whether a cheque for £10,000 had been paid in by Prince 

to Colonel Cato's account. They had replied " No," 

and now wish to know what my instructions are, so I told 
them it was quite all right, the cheque for £10,000 paid into 
my account by the Prince was only to be held temporarily 
for me by them, as it was given for a charity, and they could 
say so if they were asked." 

" Capital," replied Fairfax. " Now we shall, I hope, be 
able to work it, if I can get hold of the Prince." He then 
rushed downstairs, taking the receipt \rith him. 

What a perfectly horrible day she had spent ! Her head 
felt as if it was opening and shutting ; she was deadly cold, 
and began to think she was going to be ill in reaUty. She 
wondered what her husband was doing ; why had he not 
been to tell her what had happened ? How well the bank 
had behaved ! They had not given away that most of the 


money was spent, or that a cheque had been paid in to her 
account, simply stated no big cheque had been paid into 
Colonel Cato's account. 

It was quite unbearable, waiting in this uncertainty ; 
she would go to the bank and tell them it would be all right, 
and they must refuse to give any answers as to her private 
account. Having made up her mind to do this, she felt 
better, and proceeded to put it into execution, having the 
immense satisfaction of being told by one of the firm of 
bankers that they should not dream of giving any informa- 
tion about her private account to anybody ; it would be 
most irregular. 

So she returned home to await events. Dinner-time 
came and still no Ted, and no message from him. What 
could it all mean ? It would never do to call through to 
the Office on the telephone — it would look as if she was 

At last at 10.30 she heard the latchkey in the front 
door ; she listened intently to hear if there were any voices, 
in case her husband had brought some one back with him, 
but heard nothing except her husband's step coming very 
slowly towards the drawing-room. She arose to go and 
meet him, and exclaimed, " Darling, how late you are. 
Have you had any dinner ? " 

There was no reply. He put his arm through hers, and 
drew her down on to the sofa by him, throwing his arms 
round her, and buried his face in her neck. Still he did not 
speak. She felt something dreadful had happened, but 
must wait his time to explain, so she stroked his hair, and 
held him tight to her in loving sympathy, sajang, " Dear 
old boy, you are worn out ; you must have a strong whisky 
and soda, and then we will discuss it all. Remember nothing 
really matters so long as we are together." 

She rang the bell for the whisky and soda ; when it 
arrived he drank it eagerly and seemed refreshed. He had 
sat down in his favourite chair when the servants were 
bringing in the tray ; as soon as they had gone she knelt 
on the floor by him, resting her head in his lap. He then 


broke down for a moment, but quickly recovering himself 
said, " Dear old girl ; precious little wife ; it's all over, I'm 

" Oh is that all ! What matter ? But try and tell me, 
dear. You always say you feel better when we have dis- 
cussed things." 

" I must begin," he repHed, " at the beginning, or you 
won't understand. You remember they called through 
from the Office, wishing to see me on important business ? 
When I got there I was greeted with a cold, suspicious sort 
of manner, and asked if I could explain about a cheque for 
£10,000 being placed to my account by Prince . 

" Of course I told them he had never done anything of 
the kind ; I received no cheque, and had never been offered 
one. It was then suggested, ' You mil then have no objec- 
tion to my sending for the Prince and asking him to explain 
about this cheque, and how he came by your bankers' 
address written on the back of your envelope ? ' 

" I replied, ' By all means send for him,' though I felt 
sick to death, not knowing what the beggar would say, 
they have so many little games of their own to play gener- 

" Fairfax was sent to bring the Prince ; we waited what 
seemed an eternity, and I was afraid Fairfax would be dead 
against me. 

" At last he returned, and came in looking pretty disagree^ 
able, the Prince waddling after him all smiles, as if it was 
one of the moments of his life. 

" He was asked very poUtely if he could throw any light 
on the fact that information had reached the Office im- 
plying that he, the Prince, had given a cheque to Colonel 
Cato, knowing such things were against all prescribed 

" The old chap was splendid — by Jove he was, while I 
thought everybody in the room must have heard my heart 
beating. He arose from his seat with a look of pained 
surprise, and moving slowly towards the door as if for ever 
to shake off the dust of England, replied, ' No, gentlemen. 


and I am surprised you should ask me such a question, and 
I shall not forget this insult,' buttoning up his coat tight. 
Jove ! Flo, you should have seen them all down on their 
marrow bones, buzzing round him Hke bees round their 

" Fairfax then said he was sure, in justice to Colonel 
Cato, the Prince would explain anything he could about 
the cheque and envelope in question. 

" The Prince, with much precision and dignity, moved up 
to the table and brought out of his pocket-book three 
receipts, one from Mrs. Gandy-Brown for £10,000, for 
donation towards the Home for Sick Cats ; another for 
£10,000 from Mrs. Cato, for donation to the Society for 
Prevention of Criminals ; the third from Lady Bradding- 
linton for £10,000, donation towards her Home for Sick 
Children. He then said, ' These receipts, gentlemen, were 
given to me for the £30,000 I wished to give in charity to 
your great country, and I am deep in emotion that you 
should have so misread my best wishes.' 

" Everybody was profuse with apologies, and the Prince 
went off with flying colours. 

" I was then asked why I did not say you had received 
a cheque for charity, and prevent them making asses of 
themselves and offending his highness. I explained I had 
nothing to do with your charities, your name was in so 
many lists, and that even if it had been my habit to enquire 
into their finances, I had been much too busy since the 
arrival of the foreign visitors to find time for anything of 
the kind. 

" I was then pardoned, and sent off on a particularly 
delicate piece of work that required immediate attention, 
and now at last here I am." 

" Then why, dear, be so depressed ? It all panned out 

" Don't you see, dear child, that £10,000 will have to be 
replaced at the bank, and paid at once to the credit of the 
Criminals account, and how am I going to do that ? It is 
bound all to come out, and the last state of this man will 


be worse than the first. But for you, I would cut my throat 
and have done with it." 

Flo was very thoughtful for a few moments, and then said, 
" I have a plan. Don't ask me any questions, but I see a 
way out. Go down to the smoking-room and pull our pet 
chairs up to the fire, get my cigarettes ready, and I will 
join you when I have changed into my tea-gown. But, cheer 
up, things are not so very black after all." 

Colonel Cato went to his den, and his wife flew up to 
her room and wrote two notes, one addressed to " H. Fair- 
fax, Esq." — it contained, scrawled on a half -sheet of paper, 
"A thousand grateful thanks. F. C." The other was ad- 
dressed to " His Highness Prince ." 

Hotel, S.W. 

Dear Mr. Prince, 

How kind you are. I am most anxious to consult 
you before you leave about the cheque you kindly gave to 
my Criminal Society. Can you be with me by 10.30 to- 
morrow — at any rate before i o'clock ? I want to know 
if I may divide it among several charities instead of one, 
and to say good-bye personally to you before you leave in 
the afternoon. 

Your sincere friend, 

F. Cato. 

Flo then told her maid the two notes were to be taken 
by hand early next morning, and ask if there were any 
answers ; she then descended to try and comfort her 

Hardly had Colonel Cato left the house next morning 
when the Prince arrived. He stayed about ten minutes, 
and then drove away, returning at 12.30 with a heavy bag, 
which was left in the hall while he went up to say good-bye 
to Mrs. Cato. 

The Prince had gone, and Flo had waved a last good-bye 
to him from the window. She sank into the nearest chair, 
clasping her hands over her head, and lapsed into reverie 


which lasted some time ; then with a sigh she rose and 
picked up her husband's photo off the table, gazed at it for 
some time, and then laid her face against it and said, " It 
was a near thing." 

When Colonel Cato arrived for dinner, he announced he 
was to be made a Knight Commander of the Tub. 

" Rather too late, dear, isn't it ? " 

Flo whispered, " Not a bit ; come to my room, I have 
something great to tell you." 

" Well, now we are in peace make haste and put me out 
of my pain." 

"Oh, Ted, my dearest, it is all right," and putting her 
arms round her husband's neck completely broke down 
from relief of the tension and high pressure she had been 
living at, and history is not quite clear about the state of 
Colonel Cato's eyes when he learned from his wife she had 
seen the Prince and told him the cheque he had given her 
for charities hardly covered all she wished to do, but that 
if he could make it convenient to send something more, 
and not in cheque form, the charities would be very grateful 
and ever remember him with gratitude, and always watch 
with interest the welfare of his great estates. 

And the Prince expressed great gratitude for the peau- 
tiful lady being so kind as to distribute for him his little 
alms. He left a bag in the hall of what he had at the 
time in cash for charities, and the rest would be paid into 
Griddlefow's Bank for " Charities as may be desired by 
Mrs. Cato." 


Dora Dennis's childhood — Her God-fearing parents — She runs 
away — WTiere she was found — The Vicar mounts the stable 
ladder — Breathless moments — An a'w-ful fall — Mr. Dennis 
anticipates lock-jaw — The cook anticipates cancer- — The doctor 
called in — Dora leaves home — She becomes a hospital nurse — 
Is sent to nurse a sick clergyman — Homesick— Forgetful old 
Moses — The patient asks a question — Dora's reply — Mr. 
Dennis dies — His will — ^\^lat happened to Dora in the fog. 

I HAVE a great love for animals, children and old 
people, in fact anything or anybody that is depen- 
dent on me for their happiness ; anything helpless 
appeals to me. 

I place the animals first because they are the least dis- 
appointing, but children have occupied a large part of my 
heart. It is curious how early in life character shows itself 
even in a litter of puppies ; while one from the first may 
be a sulky little beast, another wdU be cuddlesome and 
seductive. So it is with children, and I have noticed that 
the offspring of the clergy often turn out independent and 
unmanageable. From the North Country alone I could name 
several to prove this theory of mine. I watched one such 
child grow up from passionate babyhood to the time of 
her tragic end. She is another of the negatives from out 
of my dark room. Her name was Dora Dennis. Though 
a girl, as may be gathered from her name, at heart and by 
nature she was a boy, which sounds rather Irish, but is, 
nevertheless, a trying combination for any child of man, 
and Dora's mascuHne tastes soon asserted themselves, 
filling wdth horror the hearts of her parents, who expected 
and would have greatly preferred a very red-tape daughter 
who would follow in their orthodox footsteps, instead of a 
little turk who defied them at every turn. 



When a very small child, her mother gave her a doll to 
play with, which she promptly threw on the floor, then 
made herself quite stiff with rage, and screamed till put 
down beside it, when, in the true April-shower fashion, the 
tears stopped and the sun came out in smiles, while she 
crawled, dragging the doll by the legs until near the fire, 
and threw it in. 

When she hurt herself, instead of crying like most children, 
she became very angry, spluttered what were, no doubt, 
swear words, if only her language had been understood, and 
flew at everybody that came near. 

The Dennises, Dora's father and mother, were the most 
extraordinary couple, prim and proper to the last degree, 
fearfully righteous and narrow-minded, or, as they ex- 
pressed it themselves, " God-fearing people," which is far 
more eloquent than words of mine. Had anybody asked 
them if they were God-loving people, I feel sure they would 
have been shocked, and have thought something improper 
was suggested. 

These good people disturbed my devotions in church on 
Sundays — they fascinated while they repelled me — I could 
not help looking from one to the other, the parson in the 
pulpit, and his wife at the harmonium, and wondering how 
they ever were so human, so mundane, so frisky as to ap- 
proach each other with a view to marriage ! No wonder 
the result was something unusual, for Dora was unusual, 
absolutely unlike either parent in any way. 

The Rev. Edward Dennis always reminded me of the 
Cock Robin I remember in my childhood's picture-books, 
dressed in a surplice, prepared to bury Jenny Wren — the 
same round, bright eye, same consequential air and general 
complacency, derived, no doubt, from the narrowness of 
his mind, and refusing to look any further than the few 
inches in front of his nose, allowing no wicked contaminat- 
ing newspaper in his home, except one EvangeHcal Weekly. 

His library was circumscribed, bounded on the north by 
his Bible, which he took very literally, on the south bj' 
somebody's commentaries on it, while east and west were 


a few musty old books of sermons. His reverence's addresses 
from the pulpit can hardly have been called sermons, for 
he simply expounded the Scriptures, it was not preaching, 
and as he had no ideas of his own, seemed to find satisfac- 
tion in impressing upon his small congregation of simple 
decent-looking country folk that they were all miserable 
sinners, inevitably damned and doomed to eternal torture. 

During some of these expoundings I looked from the 
roundabout, complacent Uttle man, who evidently did not 
include himself amongst the damned, to the awed faces of 
the simple-minded, uncomplaining poor, with their patient, 
frugal, toiling lives, and wondered how he dared deal out 
such cruel, revengeful doctrines in His name. Who would 
have been so gentle and comforting to them all, Whose 
words would have been mercy and great loving-kindness. 
Then my eyes would travel on to Mrs. Dennis, sitting up 
very straight and stiff in a chair by the harmonium, with 
colourless face, colourless hair, thin, compressed hps, drab 
face, drab clothes, and, doubtless, drab mind. People used 
to say she looked characterless, wherein they made a mis- 
take, for she had a very distinct character of her own, and 
was most persistent in getting her own way. Dora sat 
beside her mother, biting her nails to while away the 

My studies were one Sunday brought sharply to a close 
during the address by Mr. Dennis waving his hand in the 
direction of the font at the end of the church where the 
school children sat, and saying, mthout, I believe, meaning 
to address anybody in particular, " Who made that vile 
body of yours, I ask ? Yes ! who made that vile body of 
yours ? " Here he paused for effect, with hand still extended. 
A small, frightened-looking Uttle girl shot up, as she was 
taught to do in the Sunday-school when addressed, and piped 
out, with a curtsey, " Please, sir, Mary Jane made body 
and mother made skirt." It served the Vicar right ! What 
business had he to speak of any one's body as vile ? 

No notice of course was taken by anybody but Dora, 
who twisted round to see who had spoken, and feU off her 


seat with a thud, carrying with her a stack of prayer books, 
hymn books, etc., and her mother's bottle of smelHng-salts, 
which smashed and nearly suffocated all and sundry in the 
immediate neighbourhood. 

As Dora grew older her father informed me he should 
not send his child, his ewe-lamb, to school to be contami- 
nated, he did not approve of schools for girls, he should teach 
her himself, and make a Greek scholar of her. Of course 
there was endless grief, the child was always in disgrace, 
ending one day in throwing a book in her father's face, and 
rushing out of the room. No notice was taken at luncheon 
when no Dora appeared, and it was supposed she was too 
ashamed to come down, and was repenting of her sins, but 
when tea-time came and still no Dora, a servant was sent 
to bring her down, returning shortly to say, " Miss Dora is 
not there." Bed-time came, still no Dora, everybody went 
to search for her, and searched all night. The following 
morning the village pond was dragged, all the kind village 
people joined in the search ; every likely and unlikely place 
was searched, it was a most thrilling moment in the life of 
the village I will call Loughboro'. 

Not for two whole days was Dora found, and then only 
through the garden boy stealing the servants' cheese out 
of the larder. The cook saw him hanging about the back 
door and watched him. When all seemed quiet John crept 
into the larder, helped himself to the cheese and some pieces 
of bread which were lying in a plate left by the servants 
from their supper the night before, and crept quietly out 
again. So cook watched him and observed he went in the 
direction of the stables ; she kicked off her shoes and 
followed him. Close to the stables she lost sight of him, 
but seeing the granary door ajar, gently pushed it and 
listened, hearing quite distinctly voices overhead where the 
hay had lately been packed away in big trusses ; so re- 
treating very quietly, she went in search of the Vicar, 
informing him she believed she had found " Little Missy." 
A solemn procession started forth in search of the missing 
daughter : first the cook of noble proportions as pioneer, 


then the Vicar puffing and blowing, partly from excitement 
partly from anger, followed by his \viie squinting with sup- 
pressed emotion ; John was discovered bringing up the 
rear, but hanging well behind, scenting danger. So far so 
good, but now the procession had arrived at the granary, 
who was going to climb that rickety-crazy ladder into the 
loft ? They all looked at one another. The Vicar suggested 
as the cook made the supposed discovery she should go up 
and see if her surmise was correct, but cook did not think 
so, she thought the proper person to risk his neck, and set 
a good example, was his reverence. His reverence's wife 
forbade him doing anything so foolish, swearing the child 
was not worth it. Then a happy inspiration seized cook. 
Where was John ? Ah ! there he was, peeping through the 
hinges of the door ; he, of course, was the proper person to 
climb up ; why had they not thought of interrogating John 
before ? " John," shouted the Vicar. " Yes, sir," came a 
feeble, nervous voice. " Come here." John shuffled in with 
eyes on the ground. " Cook tells me you have been stealing 
food from the larder ; what have you done with it ? " No 
answer. " You brought it in here and were overheard talk- 
ing to someone in the loft ; who were you talking to ? " 
No answer. " Very well, as you refuse to confess 3^our sins, 
and I beUeve you know where Miss Dora is and will not 
speak, I shall send for a policeman." This was too much 
for John, who began to cry, and owned he had taken some 
bread and cheese and some carrots and apples out of the 
garden to Miss Dora, who was hiding in the hay at the back 
of the granary, and had asked him to bring her something 
to eat. " And you knew all yesterday, John, when the 
pond was being dragged, and everybody hunting for Miss 
Dora, and you never told us ? Do you know you are a very 
wicked boy, and will end your days in prison ? " This was 
the last straw for John, who expected to see a policeman 
come up out of the earth at his feet, so with a roar of anguish 
he turned and fled, and neither entreaties nor threats could 
stop him. 

I am told John ran straight home, rushed into his mother's 


cottage, frightening her nearly into fits, and proceeded to 
barricade the door. 

Meanwhile the Vicar stood at the bottom of the ladder 
commanding his daughter to " come down at once and be 
severely whipped." Strange to relate she did not immedi- 
ately respond. This was really most annoying, and growing 
more and more angry, he announced his intention of going 
up himself to bring her down ; he was going to have no 
more nonsense, so with much precision and a certain 
amount of action he was assisted out of his coat by his wife 
and the cook, who thought he would have greater freedom 
of limb to clutch the ladder. 

He started bravely up the first few steps, his wife im- 
ploring him to be very careful, and telling him the ungrate- 
ful girl was not worth his risking his valuable neck. But her 
husband was in no mood for any domestic expression of 
affection, and turned his head half round with eyes tight 
shut, while he held on to the ladder with both hands con- 
vulsively, and shouted, " Can't you hold your tongue, 
Maria ? don't you see I am in great danger ? your chattering 
will make me nervous in a minute, and it's all your fault, 
I told you she was being spoilt, and must go to school and 
be firmly dealt with ; you are quite useless with children." 

" Well, really, Mr. Dennis," she always called him by his 
surname with proper prefix, it would have been so familiar 
to have addressed him as Edward or worse still Ted, " it 
was you who would not allow her to go to school when I 
advised it, I think you have forgotten that." 

" Well, well, will you stop arguing when I am in this 
dangerous position ? You will be sorry if I fall down and 
am killed before your eyes, and I am feeling — very sick — 
and giddy." 

" Well, Mr. Dennis, come down, for goodness' sake, and 
leave the girl, she will soon get tired of being up there." 

" Oh yes, sir, leave her and come down, do," cried cook 
in tones of entreaty. But the Vicar felt it behoved a man 
of such character not to give in, so with perspiration stand- 
ing on his brow he continued his sort of spring-halt action 


up the ladder, but it was most fatiguing, his legs being short 
and round, the steps far apart, and one missing here and 
there. Oh, they were breathless moments, for the man was 
much too heavy for such a rickety ladder. It was a long, 
tiring business, and when both feet at last found their way 
on to the same step it was an anxious moment to know 
which of the two it would be best to start off with again. 

Eventually, when the watchers below had biu^sting eye- 
balls and cricks in their necks with staring at the ascent, 
the top step was reached, but here an awful problem faced 
him ; there was a big gap between the last step and the 
trap-door into the loft, which just come on a line with his 
nose, and if he hoped ever to get inside he must perform 
acrobatic feats, draw himself up by his hands resting inside 
the trap-door and swing himself in. This method he ex- 
plained at some length to his admiring household beneath 
him, without the very smallest intention of trying it, but 
neither could he face the return journey. What was to be 
done ? 

Peering over the edge of the trap-door, he said it was 
quite impossible any human being could be there ; it was 
cram-full of hay and cobwebs ; would they kindly be silent, 
he was about to descend ? The good women held their 
breath as first one leg began waving about from the top 
of the ladder trying to find a step ; finding none, the leg was 
drawn up again with groans and grunts. The other leg then 
performed the same rotatory motion. 

" Well, I can't come down, that is all about it ; I shall 
have to stay here until help comes." 

" Dear, oh dear," said cook, " whatever shall we do ? I 
think, sir, if you was to put out one leg I could guide it to 
the step with this 'ere hay-fork," fetching the implement 
from the corner where it was standing. So once more the 
leg began waving about, and giving an extra deep bob to 
reach a step, cook thought he was falling and, in her haste, 
feeling that he who hesitates is lost, did not observe when 
giving a prod to catch what she thought was the falling 
Vicar, that she had the business end of the fork upwards, 


the result of which kind attention was with a loud yell and 
a word or two he should not have used the Vicar lost his hold 
and slithered down to the ground in a sort of avalanche, 
with his arms round the ladder in fond embrace, his feet 
never touching a step at all ; but some remnant of his school 
days prompted him to twine his legs round the ladder, so 
that, except that he came down with great speed, he was 
not much the worse, except for a rather severe prod from 
the hay-fork just where his trousers were beginning to look 

Both his wife and the cook were more or less injured in 
their brave attempt to break his fall. Mrs. Dennis was l5ang 
on her back, and the cook was nursing her ample figure, 
swearing it was blows like that which gave people cancer, 
which always killed them. 

Having blamed each other in turns they all tramped home, 
but without the object of their search. Mr. Dennis declared 
he felt symptoms of lockjaw approaching, so the doctor was 
sent for, and after having bathed the punctures made by 
the fork, and assured Mrs. Dennis that she was only bruised 
and the cook had no immediate signs of cancer, he offered 
himself to go to the stables and interview his little friend, 
for whom he had a great affection, and whom he had assisted 
into the world a few years before. Being as active as a cat, 
the loft presented no difficulties to him ; he was, however, 
gone some time. The vicarage people in consequence quite 
made up their minds he had got up the ladder and was 
unable to come down again. For some reason or other this 
seemed to give them all infinite pleasure ; the Vicar even 
said, " It served him right for being so sure he could nego- 
tiate the dangerous thing." 

What really had happened was this, having run up the 
ladder and drawn himself into the loft, he crawled and 
climbed over the trusses of hay, looking right and left for 
signs of Dora, until he reached the far end, where in a 
corner amongst the hay was a frightened little girl with a 
defiant face. 

Dr Howard sat down on the hay by her, saying.. " You 


have got a cosy little corner here, may I have one of those 
rosy apples ? " and choosing one that looked tempting, 
began to eat it, chattering all the time to the child, asking 
her why she stayed up there, and would she come down 
and drive home with him and stay a little while, play with 
his children, and go on his rounds with him ? 

" Oh, I should love that, but father won't let me, I know, 
and if I come down I will kill myself ; I hate father, and I 
hate mother worse." 

" Tut-tut, young woman, you are old enough to know 
better than to talk such rubbish ; why let me see, how old 
are you now ? Nine ? Well you wait here while I go and see 
what father and mother say." Without waiting for any 
reply Dr. Howard climbed over the trusses of hay and 

He had some difficulty in persuading these fond parents 
to let him have the little girl for a time, " not at any rate 
until we have punished her." With great self-restraint the 
doctor, who loved children, argued and pleaded for Dora, 
but it was not until he impressed upon them that the child 
was in such a highly strung nervous state there was no say- 
ing what she might do unless very tenderly treated and 
given a change of scene that a reluctant permission was 

The doctor was not long in making his arrangements : 
he would take Dora back with him, and Mrs. Dennis could 
send what was necessary in the way of clothes aftt^r her ; 
he really felt rather uneasy about the child, he had seen 
something of this kind would happen before long, for neither 
Mr. Dennis nor his wife understood children in the smallest 
degree, and Dora was an intelligent child, a mass of nerves 
and feeling, but had been thrown back upon herself so often 
that at the age of nine she was an unhappy, resentful and 
revengeful bundle of nerves. 

Little did any of them think as the motor swept out of 
the drive carrying Dora away how and when she would 
return. Dr. Howard was very wise in his treatment, giving 
Dora occupation that interested her, and taking her on his 


rounds with him, long drives in the open air, until at last 
he observed the twitching of her mouth cease. He hoped 
in time to see the hard, resentful look die out of her eyes, 
but it never did. 

After Dora had been a few months with the Howards the 
doctor bought a good practice in London, and as the child 
refused to go home he took her with him. As time went on 
she proved a great help to him, keeping his visiting-book, 
looking after his accounts, and showing great interest in 
his work, besides being a great help to his wife in the house, 
helping everybody in fact, but in a cold, unsympathetic 
way preventing anybody but the doctor, who understood 
her so well, from becoming attached to her. 

But even he was a little startled at the bitterness of her 
heart when one morning a black-edged envelope arrived by 
post for him, leaving hardly room for the address, the con- 
tents of which were to the effect that Mr. Dennis had lost 
his loving wife, followed by many texts illustrating how 
prostrate he was with grief while bearing up, as was the duty 
of a God-fearing man. 

When Dora came into the study with his list of visits he 
was to pay to his patients during the day, the doctor drew 
her towards him and told her gently the news of the mother's 
death, asking if she would like to go home to her father. 
The only reply he got was " No, thank you,'' while she drew 
away ^vith tightened lips and hands folded very tight, then 
continued to put all his things into his bag for him as usual 
— stethoscope, notebook, thermometer, thermos flask filled 
with hot coffee, and all the necessaries of his work, nothing 
forgotten, just as usual. 

Asking her if she would be coming with him on his round, 
she replied, " No, I want to work." Dr. Howard said, 
" Which is it to-day, dear ? " 

" French and German, father ; I cannot get on and read 
the books I wish to study until I can read them more easily." 
She always addressed Dr. Howard as " father." 

Dora had now quite made up her mind she meant to be 
a nurse, if she could pass the exams., and Dr. Howard spent 


all his spare time teaching her, and finding her so apt a pupil, 
he used at times to discuss difficult cases with her. 

The time arrived when Dr. Howard thought it wise for 
Dora to train as a nurse in a hospital, and naturally chose 
the one where he was consulting physician, keeping a close 
watch on her and her work. Asking the house-surgeons how 
she was getting on, all said she worked well, was very in- 
dustrious, quick and clean, but nobody got to know her 
very well, as she made friends with nobody, seldom speaking 
except about her work. 

Dora worked for three years in the hospital, and won 
golden opinions from the doctors for her steady nerve, 
power of endurance and zeal, though they all laughingl^^ 
said they would not like to be nursed by her, she was so 
hard and unsympathetic ; even Dr. Howard once or twice 
spoke to her, asking her to try and put herself in the place 
of the poor patients passing through the horrible, dreadful 
time awaiting an operation, lonely, frightened and miser- 
able, when a few encouraging words of sympathy and hope, 
a httle story of how she had known similar cases, which had 
done so well, or the doctor was so clever and any such 
morsels, crumbs of comfort, but it seemed impossible to her, 
she carried out all the technical duties with the utmost care 
and precision, but nothing more. It used to grieve the good 
doctor, and he one day told her so ; he thought he saw a 
misty look come into her eyes, but she said nothing. 

When letters and telegrams came to the hospital for an 
extra clever nurse for a difficult private case Nurse Dennis 
was sent when possible. 

There had been a very busy time in the hospital, and 
Dora had not seen her dear doctor for some days, when she 
was sent for to the matron's or sister's room, and told to 
get ready to catch the next train down to Loughboro' to 
nurse a clergyman who was very ill. 

The next train carried Dora back to Loughboro', where 
at the station John, now growing old, was sitting await- 
ing the arrival of the train, perched up on the box of the 
old lumbering Victoria, looking quite prehistoric. The light 


did not seem very good as she tried to find the step, and she 
groped for something to catch hold of to pull herself up by ; 
somehow she did not feel quite well. Without knowing quite 
how it all happened, she found herself out on the old 
familiar road, turning in at the old white gate and rumbHng 
up to the vicarage she had left so many years before. 
Arrived at the door, she got out and asked John how the 
gentleman was, how long he had been ill, and all she wanted 
to know, and as she looked at him, remembering how he 
used to hide and shield her when in trouble years before, 
and that he did not even now know her — she was back in 
her old home and not a word of welcome, not even from 
Gip, the old fox-terrier ! — an unreasonable sickness came 
over her, a feeling of self-pity, anger, misery ; all her Ufe 
she knew and felt she was unloved, and every moment of 
her life resented it, but not until now, standing on the 
doorstep ringing a bell which nobody answered, John be- 
side her without a word or look of recognition, did she feel 
such utter desolation, almost depriving her of speech. A 
wobble would come in her voice as she asked if a doctor 
was in attendance. 

Nobody having answered the bell, John said he would 
go round the back way and open the door from inside ; the 
cook must be busy with the master upstairs. 

Left alone, Dora crept up to Moses to pat him, but the 
old horse did not recognise her either, and even when he 
felt a head laid against his soft old muzzle and warm rain- 
drops trickle down over it, he hung his old head with 
lustreless, tired eyes, making no sign. 

Oh, Moses ! If only you could have poked your nose 
into her hand, or whinnied, what a salvation you would 
have been ! 

The rattling of opening the front door brought Dora back 
to outward calm and attention to her work. 

Entering with firm step and cold voice, she asked to be 
shown to her room, wondering which one it would be. 
Would it be the old nursery ? No ! She passed that door, 
and was shown into the dressing-room belonging to the 


state bedroom, through the open door of which she saw 
Mr. Dennis propped up in bed, a shadow of his former self. 

Having changed into her uniform of grey cotton dress, 
big cap and apron, she entered the invaUd's room ; he was 
alone, and evidently very ill, looking most uncomfortable, 
his pillow sUpping over the edge of the bed, clothes sUpping 
off on to the floor, windows all shut, hot and stuffy room, 
dirty cups and saucers everywhere, some half full of milk, 
glasses half full of brandy — ^general chaos and confusion. 

She was too well trained a nurse to begin fussing, but sat 
quietly down near the bed, well in sight, and taking care 
not to let her chair touch the bed and shake it. She listened 
patiently to his grumbles, mixed up with texts and an 
account of the righteousness of his life, until he fell asleep. 

How thankful she felt, while sitting in motionless silence 
for fear of disturbing her patient, that she had not been 
obliged to nurse her father in one of the old rooms so full 
of association ! How strangely small the place looked, so 
different from what she had always thought it ; ever5rthing 
looked so uncared for and shabby. Why did she feel so 
upset and miserable ? Could it be she had been fond of the 
place and her people, after all ? No ! Oh no ! A thou- 
sand times no ! On her way to her room, she had passed 
the deep seat in the bay window over the porch, where she 
had sat so many times in disgrace, with lessons to learn 
that were far beyond her years. She remembered as if it 
were only yesterday how cold she had been, and how 
hungry, when she heard her father and mother go into the 
dining-room for their midday dinner, leaving her without 
anything to eat until her lessons were learnt, which were 
Dutch to her, she did not understand them, and though 
her father was a scholar himself, he had no idea of how to 
impart his knowledge. 

Why had fate sent her back here ? Some other nurse 
would have done just as well. She was a fool to come, but 
she had no idea she would feel like this, all upside-down 
and wretched. If only John had recognised her, and said 
he was glad to see her, or old cookie ; even if Moses had 


remembered her it would, not be so hard, and Gip was 
nowhere to be seen, and she could not ask where he was. 

For a moment or two she slipped back into her chair, 
her hands lying inert in her lap and a softer look in her face ; 
she was thinking how hard she would try to understand 
children, and how gentle and kind she would be to them, 
knowing from her own experience how injustice, want of 
gentleness and sympathy turned little ones into cannibals 
of their own hearts. 

Had it really made her as hard as people said she was ? 
How could she be, when she longed to be loved, to be neces- 
sary to someone's happiness ! How she had hoped for years 
her father or mother would write an affectionate letter 
saying they missed her, and would like to have her back, 
instead of the letters she received, saying they supposed 
they must have the ungrateful girl back, it was not fair on 
the doctor to expect him to keep her for ever, though they 
paid him handsomely all the time. 

She really loved Dr. Howard, and now always thought 
of him and spoke to him as " father," anticipating his every 
need and wish in return for his kind shelter. How she loved 
to hear him say, first thing on entering the house, " Where 
is Dora ? " Did he know how she longed and listened for 
his voice ? 

She wondered, did grown-up people ever understand 
children ? Did they know what their griefs were to them, 
how intense their sorrows and their joys, filling their hearts 
and minds, living so entirely in the present, without the 
religion and world-learnt philosophy that grown-up people 
have to comfort them ? Grown-up people may think and 
know that in an hour or so their children's griefs may be 
forgotten, but they do not know it, and it is the treatment 
children receive in their unhappy moments that marks up 
on life's fingerpost by which road they will travel. 

The entrance of the doctor interrupted her reverie ; she 
arose quietly and followed him into the dressing-room, 
received her orders, and was told, " The old man cannot last 
very long, and must not be allowed to worry about anything." 


Returning to the sick room she found her patient awake, 
and she made him more comfortable and the room tidy. 
For a few days he seemed better, and chatted to her of an 
ungrateful daughter he had, working in a London hospital, 
who did not care whether he lived or died, but she would 
care presently when he was gone, for he had left all his money 
to be divided amongst the foreign missions, and she would 
be sorry then, and the nurse would find his will in the right- 
hand drawer of his writing-desk in his study, and the keys 
were on the dressing-table. But he did not want to die, 
and did not see any reason why he should ; he was not so 
old as all that, but he was miserable and lonely, and 
frightened, though he didn't know why he should be, for 
he had always been a God-fearing man, doing his duty in 
that state of life unto which it had pleased God to call him. 
Then in a voice almost a whisper, looking round to see if 
anybody would hear, " Nurse, do you think it \vill be all 
right with me ? I feel so frightened." 

Pretending not to understand him, she said, " You cannot 
expect to get all right again if you talk so much ; you will 
tire yourself out." This, instead of making matters better 
only made them worse, and he told her she was a cruel, 
hard woman, and began to cry, which brought on such a 
bad heart attack that Dora sent off for the doctor, wishing 
someone to share her responsibility. 

On arrival, he said he must have a prescription made up 
with all haste, so seizing a letter out of her pocket, handed 
it to the doctor. On the back of it he wrote the prescription, 
and it was sent off in haste. The doctor waited until it came, 
and gave the sick man a dose, injected strychnine, waited 
to see him better and conscious, then left, putting the 
medicine and prescription on the table beside the bed. 

Having been up for several nights, it was arranged that 
the nurse was to lie down and sleep on the bed in her own 
room, and cook would sit with him, and call her if he 
wanted anything. 

Next morning there was a marked change in him ; the 
attack of the night before had shaken him badly, but he 


wished to be propped up against his pillows and read some 
of his letters, while his nurse was busy putting the room tidy. 
Something, she never knew what, made her turn round 
suddenly and look at her patient ; he was blue and shaking, 
his eyes looking excited, in his hand the prescription taken 
up by mistake amongst his letters. The side facing him had 
" Miss Dora Dennis " on it ; the old man was looking over 
the top of the paper at his nurse, then back again at the 

Presently, in a voice she did not seem to know, he said, 
" Are you my Dora ? I thought I seemed to have heard 
your — voice — before. ' ' 

Quickly she gave him his heart drops, prescribed for 
fainting fits, thereby saving another bad attack. Placing 
both hands in her own, looking up into her face, he said, " I 
am so — so — glad. You are my Dora, aren't you ? " 

Nurse replied, " Never mind who I am ; you must not 

He was quiet for a little while, but never taking his eyes 
off her as she moved about the room. Presently, signing 
to her to come to him, he said, " Aren't you sorry for me, 
Dora ? I think I am dying, and I am frightened " — a little 
gulping sob, and then — " Yes, I am so frightened ; can't 
you say anj^hing to make me feel better ? Do you think 
it will be all right with me ? " Then, angrily, " What a 
hard, cold woman you are ! You are not fit to be a nurse ; 
you have mistaken your calling — you should be a matron 
in a prison." 

This was all blurted out spasmodically, between gasps for 

Dora waited till he had done, and was too tired to say any- 
thing more, then rephed, " No, I do not pity you; I pity 
nobody but children and dumb animals. I Hke to see people 
suffer ; I like to see them lonely and miserable as I am, and 
unloved as I have been. You have always told me you 
were a God-fearing man. I would be the last to rob you 
of it now." 

She realised it was no use saying anything more, for her 


father did not hear ; he had reached the end of his journej', 
and without the blessing of even the certainty that he had 
found the Ught of which he had so often preached. 

How did Dora Dennis feel as she stood beside the pathetic 
figure of her father, who had held out despairing hands for 
help when drowning, while she, instead of helping to save, 
had pushed his poor, frightened head further under water ? 

There comes a day to us all when the religion Fate has 
been preparing for us takes possession of our hearts. It 
had come to Dora, for, while it was unbearable to her, and 
no longer possible to see one of our little travelling com- 
panions shut up in a cage — a little bird, all big heart and 
feathers, with an earnest purpose in its life, beating its little 
wings against a cage bars, beating its little head against 
the roof, while it sings — sings of what ? Maybe its broken 
heart ; maybe its faith that all will sometime come right ; 
maybe of its unfulfilled desires ; — ^when to her it was im- 
possible to bear seeing the joy and life taken from any 
Uttle living thing at our mercy — yet to see a human being 
in agony, in want of help and in misery, left her cold. In- 
deed, it seemed at times to be a comfort to her, as if her 
own misery were in a way avenged. 

The miserable necessity of sorting out the papers and 
belongings of those who have left us was hurried through 
with all possible speed. The family lawyer asked if she 
knew if there was a will and, if so, where it would be found. 
She replied ever5rthing should be ready for him when the 
funeral was over. She did not attend it. Why should a 
man's nurse attend his funeral ? 

As soon as the house was empty, all having gone from 
motives best known to themselves to see the last of the 
vicar, Dora fetched out the will. It was in a long envelope 
not even fastened down. How easy it would be to put it 
in the fire, when, being the last of the family, all would be 
hers, hers to give to dear Dr. Howard and his wife, who 
had been her best friends ! She held it in her hand, turned 
her head, and looked at the fire. The doctor wanted it more 
than the missionaries. No, he didn't, he had plenty ; and 


she wanted nothing more than she had got and could earn, 
but how she would like to make some return to her kind 
friend. Then she closed her eyes, still holding the envelope 
in her hand, and pictured to herself the doctor's face if he 
knew she even contemplated such a thing ; and with a start 
she pushed the chair back and stood the will on the chimney- 
piece by the clock, which said it had been presented to the 
Rev. Edward Dennis on his marriage by the parishioners 
of Loughboro'. 

The funeral party returned, the will was read, but having 
been drawn up by himself was not legally worded, and even 
if it had been, all mention of household effects, goods and 
chattels had been overlooked ; only the capital was men- 
tioned, so after all these were hers to do as she liked with. 
The family lawyer being made acquainted with the fact 
that the reason Mr. Dennis's daughter was unable to come 
from Town to the funeral was because she was already 
there and in person at the moment, came to the conclusion 
she must be a little mad, and when she informed him she 
still wished the missionaries to have it exactly as her father 
had directed, and that everything not mentioned in the 
will was to be divided equally between the two servants, 
who had been twenty years in his service, he no longer 
thought her mad, but was quite sure of it. 

The first possible moment she hurried away. Now that 
John and cook were aware who she was and how good to 
them, Dora came to the conclusion their affection was 
more embarrassing than their not recognising her, added 
to which she was receiving worrying accounts of Dr. Howard. 
He had been laid up for some time with blood poisoning, 
and she was most anxious to be with him if the hospital 
could spare her. 

So once more Moses shuffled over the roads to Loughboro' 
station, though he was now the property of faithful John, 
and Dora turned her back for ever on her old home. Arrived 
in Town she at once reported herself to the matron at the 
hospital, and asked for leave to go to Dr. Howard in Harley 
Street, which was granted. 





He had been anxious she should not know how ill he was 
while she was nursing her father, so when she saw her dearest 
friend, to whom, though she had not till now known it, she 
was passionately attached, her heart stood still within her. 
What would life be to her without him ? she cared for nobody's 
praise but his ; nobody really loved her but him. There was 
no time for raving, every moment was taken up in attending 
to him ; the day nurse was allowed to return to the hospital 
while Dora took her place. 

Dr. Howard sank very rapidly, but several times before 
he died he smiled at Dora and said, " How could I ever have 
thought you hard and cold ; you are perfect." 

It was the express wish of the doctor that he should be 
cremated, which was for some reason an agony to Dora. 
She could not bear to think of it, and declined to attend the 
service, and as soon as they were all gone she put on her 
bonnet and cloak and went out into the fog of November ii, 

November 12th awoke to find London still hidden in dense 
fog. At two o'clock the sun struggled through for a while, 
and the nurses in Park Lane took their charges into the 
Park to feed the ducks. Seeing a great crowd by the boat- 
house on the Serpentine they asked a park keeper what it 
was all about ; was it suffragettes ? " No," replied the park 
keeper, " it's the body of a handsome young hospital nurse 

we found drowned ; she comes from Hospital, we think, 

she wears their uniform. The police is there seeing to it all." 

" Do you think, ]\Ir. Park-keeper, that she fell into the 
water during the fog ? Lost her way ? " 

A whimsical smile played about the keeper's mouth as 
he answered, " Perhaps." 


Some snobs — Blue-blooded ones — Otherwise — A commercial papa 
scores — Are we all mad ? — Might-have-been days — Some pet 
economies — A noble lord's " shoot " — A host speaks his mind 
— Di Barringtown's love — Her indiscretions — A little lecture — 
An annoyed wife — A snub from Ascot — More home truths — A 
miserable explanation — A curious divorce — The butler gives 
notice — A sanctimonious prig — A heartless mother — Mr. 
Justice Butt looks bored — Eloquent Counsel — Defendant falls 
out with the judge — Counsel insulted — The judge makes a 
suggestion — Both parties agree — Off to Paris. 

I AM not going to look at any more of the negatives in 
my dark room, for they depress me, so instead I wiJl 
write of some of the people I have met who have 
amused me, snobs for instance, many of them have been 
interesting, a few surprising, a few charming in their acknow- 
ledged snobbishness. 

There are many varieties, snobs male and female, not 
forgetting the child snob, of which there is a plethora. I 
think I had better class them snob, snobber, snobbest, and 
then the children, shall we call them snobbums ? The 
dictionary really does not provide us with a sufficiently 
varied and comprehensive vocabulary. For instance, if we 
cannot see we say we are bhnd, that is all right ; if we cannot 
hear we say we are deaf ; but what word is there to de- 
scribe the situation when we cannot smell ? When I com- 
pile a dictionary I shall call it " snumb," it rhymes nicely 
with " dumb." 

I do not wish to hurt the feelings of my snobs, for I have 
liked some of them very much, and they have amused me 
often. It is a great mistake to think they are all among 
the nouveau riche, for I have known some fairly profound 
blue-blooded ones. 

s 257 


How shall we describe a snob ? It is often easier to say 
what a thing is not than describe what it is. The dictionary 
again fails us, only saying a snob is a " vulgar person," and 
wisely leaves it at that before becoming involved. Some 
snobs I have met could hardly have been called vulgar. I 
have noticed that usually when a man realises he is a snob 
he ceases to be one, which sounds rather Irish. 

With women it is different. If a female is a snob nothing 
will cure her, for she will never allow she is one, on the con- 
trary would describe herself as being very select and chaste 
in her tastes. But you can always tell them a mile away ; 
they have a peculiar smile at one side only of their mouths, 
have cold, inquisitive eyes, and as soon as they get near 
enough, ask inquisitive, impertinent questions. 

Broadly speaking, I suppose one would describs a snob 
as a person who is desperately afraid someone may fail to 
notice what a fine fellow he or she is, what high-born folk ; 
and yet this is not a satisfactory definition, does not accur- 
ately describe what constitutes a snob. 

But then there are so many varieties of the species. We 
are all human documents with our parts to play on the 
stage of the world in that great drama we call " Life," and 
we cannot hope to be successful among the crowd of actors 
if we do not dress for our parts as the rest do. Herein lies 
the whole essence, the whole root of snobbery. It is in the 
dressing for our parts we find the index to our characters. 

From this point, thought carries us to how we come by 
our characters. We are then confronted by a process over 
which we have no control, but to which we must give articu- 
late expression, then remembering man is the victim of the 
forces he carries about with him, presented to him by that 
great conveyancing deed birth, and that the antinomies of 
our being lie far deeper than our little life, it behoves us to 
look broadly at life's problems and be infinitely gentle with 
its victims. We are so apt to judge other folk by the light 
of our own souls, which does not always spell justice for the 
other people. 

I am inclined to think we are all snobs at heart, only 


education teaches us how to drape it decently. Where can 
we find greater snobs than amongst ordinary, everyday 
schoolboys and schoolgirls ? I have often been struck with 
their extreme vulgarity, which goes to show it is more or 
less natural to us. 

Staying in Shropshire one Christmas with friends, each 
of the boys had been allowed to bring home a friend from 
school, and as usual in the holidays we all did our best to 
amuse the youngsters. Several of us grown-ups agreed to 
go with the boys and have a " pot at the rabbits," as they 
called it. My little friend of the house I was staying in 
was called John, his school friend's name was Vandeleur, 
if I remember correctly. John was trying all the time to 
give the best place where the rabbits were likely to bolt 
to his friend. I listened for a while to their conversation 
though they did not know I was listening. 

Vandeleur. " How much money have you got, John ? " 

John. " About ids. at present, I am broke with Christ- 
mas presents." 

Vandeleur. " Poor chap, what a shame ! My father 
gives me just what I want, but of course he is a very rich 
man. He never shoots with anybody unless it is the King. 
Obliged to be a bit careful, you know, when you mix with 
that set. I never move about without a fiver in my pocket, 
never know when you may want it." 

John. " Oh, my father's awfully poor ! I should not 
like to take it from him. In fact he is so poor he says I 
shall have to earn my own living ; he can't afford to give 
me more than a good education." 

Vandeleur (with scorn in his voice). " I thought your 
father was a lord ! " 

John. " So he is. What's that got to do with it ? " 

While this conversation had been taking place John's 
sister came striding up, a very mannish young woman with 
a heart of gold, aged fifteen summers. She at once chimed 
in and expressed her opinion, namely, it was a pity Vande- 
leur's father did not pay the extra twopence to have his 
son taught manners, 


During my visit I heard a good deal more of the same 
sort of thing. The school friend was a veritable little snob. 

Another brilliant specimen, who crossed my path awhile 
ago, bought a house in a fairly good provincial hunting 
country, arrived there with a great splash of horses, red 
and brass sort of fire-engine motor-cars, went to hunt balls 
in the coat and buttons of a dead-and-gone hunt, squeezed 
in his waist, and minced about with a very lardy-dardy 
way of speaking. He began instructing the local masters 
of hounds on the way to avoid kennel lameness, which he 
said was due to the hard dryness of the roads in summer 
when at exercise ! 

This man's wife was a very ladylike woman. I used to 
look at her and try to put myself in her place when he was 
boasting of all he could do, what he allowed in his house 
and what he did not, what he advised the masters of hounds 
to do, and telling people what he did not know about cars 
was not worth knowing. It was such a temptation to draw 
him on to make a further donkey of himself, but before 
long something went wrong with finances and they moved 

There is hope for the rich snob who has acquired wealth, 
he generally improves, for he meets and rubs shoulders 
with people who have had handed down to them from 
generations of polished ancestors a certain calm, a refine- 
ment of manner and expression, from whom if he is fairly 
quick and intelligent (which he will be probably if he has 
made his money or even been able to keep what has been 
made for him) he will copy, becoming less aggressive and a 
more respectable member of society. 

This class of person is, however, very trying. When I 
have been told how he has bought that poor chap Lord 
Scattercash's little place of 15,000 acres, which he is improv- 
ing enormously, laying down electric light plant in the park 
to make the deer more cheerful, and all sorts of beautiful 
terra-cotta figures, and that when all is finished he means 
to ask the poor chap down to see if he can guess what it 
has all cost to put his property into order and improve it. 


words fail me ; I can only look in wonderment, but after 
all I am inclined to think this snob is a person to be envied, 
all his geese are swans, his gold suffices him, it buys all he 
wants, and he is probably very happy and satisfied trying 
to impress on his neighbours what they are most anxious 
to forget about him. 

Another kind I have met, less fortunately endowed with 
worldly goods, that seldom outgrows his malady, for cir- 
cumstances oblige him to dwell amongst those who fall 
flat on their faces before him. This of course feeds him, and 
he will never be anything but snob, snobber, snobbish to 
the end of his days. 

I have observed still another subtle form of snobbery, 
that of pretending to be pals and on equal terms with people 
in an entirely different station of life to their own, preferring 
to consort with stable-boys and others of that ilk. With 
their lips they say, " We are all one flesh and blood, and 
I have no nonsense about me " ; in their hearts they know 
and feel quite differently. That is only their way of apolo- 
gising for their cmrious friends and acquaintances, whom 
of course they only like because of their " superior brains 
and intellect," which curious phrase being interpreted means 
they like being with people who will toady them, though 
of course this is not done with the vulgarity born of de- 
ficient brains, but gently, often with consummate skill for 
reasons of their own ; while in the hearts of these toadies 
there really dwells envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharit- 

One curious form of snobbery I met once on board ship 
going out to India. A tall and very beautiful youth was 
going out to join a regiment which considered itself most 
select, and indeed many of them were very charming. 
This youth's money came from hops when they had been 
manipulated, that I think is a tender way of putting it, 
but so sensitive was he about the source of his income that 
if anybody at the dinner-table ventured to say he would 
drink beer it was considered a personal insult and done on 
purpose to annoy. 


Another, a very nice old self-made man I knew years ago, 
put his son into a crack cavalry regiment, where he received 
very rough handling and a signed roundrobin requesting 
him to remove himself to some other regiment where his 
society would be more appreciated. The father was natur- 
ally rather annoyed and wrote to the colonel expostulating, 
receiving a reply stating his regiment was noted for the 
gentlemen and nobility in it ; even in the ranks there were 
plenty, drawing the somewhat obvious reply from the 
commercial papa that it was a pity he had not a few more 
gentlemen amongst the officers ! I think the father scored. 

It is possible and doubtless very excellent to be in the 
world and not of it. Anyone having no ties, or willing to 
cast them from him, may retire into the country and live 
in the clouds, " far from the madding crowd," and he m^ay 
draw very near to the " peace that passeth all understand- 
ing," but if he elects, or circumstances oblige him, to live 
in the midst of many, he had better choose his companions 
from his own class of life, the one in which he has been 
brought up, where every word he speaks will not be con- 
strued into contempt or holding some double meanmg. 

I am a firm believer in class keeping to class, it is the 
only true comradeship. As in politics, there is nothing 
that drives a man so surely to revolt as unrealised expecta- 
tions, so in social life anything that can be construed into 
contempt is never forgiven, even bodily injury would be 
more easily pardoned. Classes that have from earliest 
youth been brought up to look upon one another with 
suspicion will not, cannot amalgamate with success. In 
theory it may be very telling, but in practice wellnigh 

Both parties look at things in general and things in par- 
ticular from diametrically opposite points of view, the one 
class is morbidly on the alert for slights, while the other is 
naturally more or less on the defensive, though I allow a 
man's own good breeding is his best security against other 
people's bad manners. Want of reason may be offensive, 
but want of faith in one hurts. 


Vanity is one of the causes of snobbery in men and in 
women. Indeed I am under the impression it has ruined 
more women than love has ever done. 

But to return to our snobs. To be a success in any form 
of life it is necessary to be a snob judiciously clothed. I 
am also inclined to think imless a man or a woman is a bit 
of a rascal they will be hopelessly left behind, by this I do 
not blame them for being rascals, remembering Schopen- 
hauer's very true definition that life is divided into two 
divisions, " one half busily employed in selling spurious 
goods and the other half earnestly engaged in paying for 
the goods in false coin ! " 

It is not always easy at first sight to diagnose a snob, 
but there are two occasions when they may be trusted to 
give themselves away without fail, namely when making 
love and when they have dined " not wisely but too well." 

Snobs are nauseating in their amorous moments, being 
quite unable to discern what should be left unsaid, what 
should be seen and what appear not to be seen. A male 
snob is fond of talking about his loves and experiences, 
which to a well-bred man would be inconceivable. 

The other moment to which I refer is when after a good 
dinner the flood-gates of conversation are let loose. The 
snob will then emphasise his own particular line, maybe 
by boasting, by disclosing with many winks and expressions 
of clever cunning the underhand and most unpicturesque 
part he has played in his part of the stage. 

The heart of a snob entirely misses that dignity so essen- 
tial in our pleasures as well as in our business affairs. 

He has not the calculation and profound sense of pro- 
portion necessary to prevent tripping himself up over his 
ideas and emotions. After all, everyone of us who thinks 
finds himself in a dilemma between intellect and emotion. 

I came across some lines the other day that amused me 

and seemed to fit the moment : 

" You always speak ill of me, 
I always speak well of thee. 
But spite of all our noise and pother 
The world believes not me nor t'other." 


I have wondered sometimes if we are not all a little mad. 
Certainly when we are in love we are all very mad ; and 
outside that I think we are most of us c, little mad on some 
particular point. 

I have been looking back at some of my " might-have- 
been " days and feel that I have much to be thankful for 
in what I have escaped. Not very long ago I was asked to 
luncheon with one of my earUest loves who has since those 
" might-have-been " days taken unto his bosom a wife. He 
was very canny with his pennies as a boy, and now as a 
man is even cannier, though he is very rich. When luncheon 
was announced I thought the table looked very bare ; there 
was a quantity of well-kept silver, but all I could see to eat 
was a very plain cake, some pieces of bread and some 
diminutive pats of butter. Presently a beautiful silver 
dish was handed round with exactly three cutlets in it, that 
was one for each of us. I was told if anybody wanted more 
they were in the fender ready prepared by the gas-stove, 
and could be cooked in a few minutes, but on principle they 
did not have more cooked unless they knew that they were 
wanted as it was so wasteful. I looked into the fender and 
sure enough there reposed some prepared but uncooked 
cutlets on a beautifully clean grid. 

By the time I had eaten my cutlet and a piece of cake I 
had had enough, but the arrangement struck me as strange. 
After luncheon my host told me it was one of his busy days, 
as he had to wind up all the clocks in the house and see that 
the children's clothes were properly aired on coming home 
from the wash. He never trusted anybody else to do these 
things, I looked at the might-have-been's wife to see how 
she viewed these economies and peculiarities ; she appeared 
to be calm and happy. 

Then there is a certain noble lord who owns much property 
in the neighbourhood of the New Forest ; he ^ives large 
shooting parties, and his shoots are excellent and well 
arranged. The luncheons are not sumptuous certainly, but 
that is all the better, for nobody shoots well after a big 
repast. The uncommon features of these parties lies in the 


fact that the host almost invariably comes out having 
forgotten his ammunition or brought an insufficient quan- 
tity, obliging him to borrow from his guests all day. 

This got on the nerves of one of his frequently invited 
neighbours, so next time he went to shoot he turned up 
without cartridges ; he had unfortunately forgotten them ! 
and had to keep apologising all day to his host for having 
to borrow from his keepers. The beauty of the whole thing 
is, every feather goes straight away to the market. 

I have been trying to think whether I prefer people 
saying unpleasant things to my face or behind my back, 
and have decided on the latter. There is always a chance 
that we may never hear what is being said behind our backs, 
and we feel it really matters very little, but it is altogether 
different if unpleasant things are said to our faces : it is 
difficult on the spur of the moment to frame suitable replies 
that will be ladylike, and at the same time telling. 

For instance, what would be a suitable reply in the follow- 
ing case which really happened to my knowledge ? 

There lived near us at one time a very hospitable and 
kind-hearted couple who entertained a good deal in a quiet 
way. The husband prided himself on always speaking his 
mind and being straightforward. Some people he did not 
know particularly well invited themselves to stay when 
passing through the country, and not being sensitive folk 
they did not discover they were outstaying their welcome. 
At last one morning they announced they really must go. 
When taking their departure they thanked their host for 
a very pleasant visit which they had much enjoyed, receiving 
in reply, " So you ought, you have had the best of every- 
thing. Good-bye." 

Being a very happy woman, though I have had my share 
of sorrow like the rest of the world, I am always wishing 
to see everybody else happy and trying to encompass it. 
Addison says, " How grand it is to ride on the whirlwind 
and direct the storm." It may be very grand directing the 
storm, but it does not always spell success. I remember once 
my endeavours in this direction being peculiarly unsuccess- 


ful and my feeling small and disappointed. I think the kind 
and charitable, especially the religiously charitable people, 
often do more harm than the mischief-makers, which is not 
a comforting reflection. 

The story I am about to tell is old history now, but many 
will know to what I refer though I doubt if many, or indeed 
any, know the truth of the scandal, for of course the woman 
came off second best, and many untrue versions of the 
story were scattered abroad. 

Di Barringtown was a great friend of mine. That is not 
exactly her name, but it is near enough. She was a few years 
younger than myself, and we both hailed from the North. 
At the time of which I am wTiting she was a young and 
very handsome widow of an elderly peer. 

I do not think I should have referred to this old story 
were it not that her love was such a wonderful and beautiful 
thing, though unfortunately misplaced, and also to prove 
my theory that those wishing to be kind and helpful often 
find themselves in uncomfortable and unsatisfactory 
premises themselves ; but of course that cannot be helped. 

Being fond of Di, and thinking she probably did not know 
that unkind things were being said of her and her relations 
with a married man, I ventured to approach her on the sub- 
ject . I knew the man in question, he had been in the Gordon 
Highlanders or one of the Highland regiments, if I remember 
rightly. I will call him Captain Cardewe : he was very good- 
looking and smart with expensive tastes and little money, 
until he married a woman who had plenty, derived from 
pins and needles, soap, or some such thing. 

This is what Di said to me in return for my little words 
of warning and advice : 

Yes, he is a married man, but what of that ? I love 
him ; how can I help it ? Who put it into my heart ? Let 
me ask you that. It is not a thing that we can help, it just 
comes, and then all the world is changed. 

" At one time no doubt I should have thought it very 
wrong, now I glory in it — yes, I glory in it ! I look at the 
sun and I say, ' Dear, beautiful sun, shine on, shine on 


everybody for I am so happy.' He loves me, and I feel I must 
touch the sweet and tender flowers as I pass them, and I 
say, send out your sweet scent far and wide so that every- 
body may enjoy you, for I am so happy he loves me. . . . 
When I see Uttle children I want to stroke their hair and 
kiss their necks, for he loves me. . . . And this is what you 
want to take from me ! Never, never ; and if he was to tire 
— no, I will not talk of that, he won't, he can't, and he could 
not do without me. I have made him, and he loves my 
little finger better than the whole body, soul and painted 
face of his commonplace wife put together." 

Di paused for breath, so I got a word in again edgeways. 
" But he must have cared for her once or why should he 
marry her ? " 

" Nonsense," replied Di, " he never loved her, I tell you, 
he loved me, but he was so hard up and pressed for money, 
and I told him — yes, / told him to look out for money and 
marry it, and he did. Why should that prevent my loving 
him and keeping his love ? Don't be so old maidish ! " 

But," I protested, " she is very unhappy ; she resents 
your relations with her husband, for she also is very fond 
of him." 

" Well, it is very foolish of her. Poor man, he has done 
his share, she is now in the society she pined for, she has 
two fat, commonplace babies, a lovely house and heavenly 
clothes — what more does she want ? " 

" She wants her husband's love." 
Does she ? Well, she won't get it, for it's mine, and I 
will keep it till my hair is grey, my eyes are blind and my 
heart is dead — so there ! You mean well, I know ; you are 
a dear old thing to come and be stormed at by me, but it 
is no use, so now we will talk of something else." 

Moving across the drawing-room of her little flat, she sat 
down at her baby piano and sang some dear little ditty, I 
do not remember the words, but each verse ended with, 
" For thou hast made my life so glad," and as she came to 
those lines there was in her voice and in her eyes, as she 
looked at something I did not see, a note of rapture. She 


had not a very wonderful voice, but it always moved me 
strangely. I felt I must be very gentle and speak very 
softly ; and it always took me some time to recover my 
powers of speech when she had been singing, something in 
her voice sounded as if she was in pain, and it frightened 
me, it was so intense, so full of feeling, and where would 
this unrestrained capacity of feehng land her ? 

The door opened, and the footman asked if her ladyship 
would be at home to visitors. 

" No ! I mean yes, but only to Captain Cardewe. I 
expect him about five." 

I remarked that, under those circumstances, I had better 
be moving as it was already past four o'clock, so I said, 
" Shall I see you at the Wellington Club to-night ? Percy 
says he has asked you." 

" Quite impossible ; much as I should like it. Captain 
Cardewe is dining quietly here with me ; I always look up 
his dates and figures for him, and make him rehearse his 
speeches here to me, before delivering them in the House." 

As I drove home I wondered how it would all end. Mrs. 
Cardewe had asked me to speak to Di and advise her to 
leave other people's husbands alone, etc. If there is one 
task more thankless than another it is interfering in people's 
love affairs, the third party almost invariably gets cussed 
all round. I was not greatly drawn to this plain wife either, 
but felt sorry for her, for she loved her man as well as she 
knew how, and made frantic and pathetic endeavours to 
look nice and smart so as to be pleasing in his eyes. And 
she was very loyal, anxious that I should understand he was 
a very kind, good husband, and she really had nothing to 
complain of, but she disliked Lady Barringtown's manner 
to her husband, and perhaps as I was her great friend I 
would speak to her on the subject. 

After my little lecture I heard nothing from Di for a 
week and feared she was offended. Then when supping one 
night in a popular restaurant I overheard some people 
talking of her in a very uncomplimentary manner and I 
feared matters were going from bad to worse, and I was 


very sorry. Lady Barringtown's life had not been a bed 
of roses, and she had such a wealth of love and energy pent 
up in her heart only waiting for the right person to come 
and unlock the door. Unfortunately Captain Cardewe had 
the key. 

The season was coming to its climax of Ascot in about 
ten daj^s. Di and I had been asked to stay in the same 
house down there for the races, and we had both been in- 
vited to a dance in Grosvenor Square on the night of which 
I am thinking. I was wondering if Di would be there. 

While sitting with my partner where I could see the 
arrivals, I saw Di greeting our hostess ; how lovely she 
looked. There was not a soul in the room to compare with 
her, she carried herself so proudly, her dark hair falling in 
rebellious little curls on her forehead making her pale skin 
look like marble and her large brown eyes more wistful. 
Being popular, she was at once surrounded by men, and 
more than one hoped to win her. 

Everything was what the servants call " going off beau- 
tiful," all appeared to be enjoying the dance, the rooms 
were crammed and hot. Later in the evening my partner 
and I were searching for a cool spot to sit in, when we came 
across Di and Captain Cardewe sitting behind a screen 
amongst palms and roses. We moved on, my partner re- 
marking, " Lady Barringtown is going it a bit strong ! " 

I remarked icily that I did not know what he meant. 
He then informed me that she had been sitting in that corner 
all the evening with Captain Cardewe and had not to his 
knowledge danced a single dance, and that Mrs. Cardewe 
had been looking for her husband. 

As we were saying good night to our host and hostess I 
saw the Cardewes just in front of us getting into their 
carriage and felt comforted, as everybody would see the 
husband and wife going home together, and perhaps stop 
the wagging of tongues. We had to wait for our carriage 
until the one in front moved on. Mrs. Cardewe was tucked 
in nicely by her husband, and he told the servant to shut 
the door. Mrs. Cardewe, looking out of the window, said 


to her husband, " Are not you coming too ? " He repUed, 
" Not just yet, I have promised a chap to go and have a 
smoke in his rooms and arrange about a trial at Brooklands." 
The carriage moved off ; we then saw Di emerge from some- 
where and get into a cab with Captain Cardewe and drive off. 
The men standing about laughed and were funny, or 
thought they were, the women pursed up their mouths and 
I hastened home. 

It was no use my worrying myself if she was bent on social 
ruin, and I felt angry with her, not because she loved the 
man — she could not help that, I suppose — but because she 
was so very indiscreet. 

A few days later she called to see me before I had finished 
my breakfast. She wanted to speak to me privately. This 
being arranged, she began : 

" Do you know those rude people at Ascot have written 
saying, ' Owing to the workmen not having finished paint- 
ing the room they had hoped to place at my disposal, it 
would not be ready in time and they must ask me to post- 
pone my visit ! ' Now, old girl, what does that mean ? 
Have you been put off ? " 

" No," I replied, " but I am not surprised at what you 
tell me, for I know they were annoyed at the way you 
behaved at their dance, and they afterwards heard that 
you went off in a cab with Captain Cardewe while his wife 
went home alone." 

" Well," said Di, " now they have insulted me you won't 
go, will you ? " 

I told her I most certainly should. I had done my best 
to save her from herself, and she would not listen, and the 
best thing she could possibly do was to write a polite note 
to our friend at Ascot and pretend she did not see the snub, 
and then make a party and go down on Cup day, only on 
no account with Captain Cardewe, and I would try and 
arrange that she and Mrs. Cardewe should be seen together 
in public, which might help to smooth things over. 

Then I took the opportunity to tell her what I thought 
of her conduct, and what I thought of Captain Cardewe, 


and asked her if she considered it good form to be seen 
driving down to Hurlingham on his coach with no other 
ladies present, and did she think it good form to ride his 
horses and use his carriages, paid for by Mrs. Cardewe's 
money ? 

Finding her still resentful and declaring she saw no harm 
in it — all she did was aboveboard — I played my trump card. 
I went and sat close to her on the sofa and took her hand 
in mine, which she tried to pull away, but I would not let 
it go, and said to her, " Di, dear, I am older than you and 
have seen more of the world and studied character possibly 
more than you have, and, believe me. Captain Cardewe is 
not worthy of your love, infatuation or whatever it may be, 
and I think in your heart you know it." She sat quite still, 
staring into space and made no reply, so I continued, " I 
can read you all as if your parts were written for a play. 
Captain Cardewe married his wife for money, to save his 
name, and to prevent his having to appear in the bank- 
ruptcy court. He cares nothing for her and has not the 
decency, is not man enough, to hide his indiscretions so 
that he may not wound the feelings of his loyal and faithful 
wife. He is fond of you in a selfish way. You have, as you 
truly stated, made him ; but for you and your influence, 

and work, he would never have been returned for 

but for your coaching and drilling would never have made 
a mark in the House ; but for you he would not have been 
able to float all his companies — your love and brain has 
done it all. He may think he cares for you, whereas it is 
only, at present, he cannot do without you. He is intensely 
selfish and cares for no one but himself ; when his feet are 
firmly planted a few rungs higher up the ladder, you may 
fall to the bottom for all he will care." 

Di rose from the sofa with some dignity, and said coldly. 

You may be right, but I am not feeling very well and will 
go home." I went as far as the front door with her and 
saw her off. 

Ascot came and went, but Di did not put in an appearance, 
so on the following Sunday I went to see if she was still in 



town. I was told by the servant who answered the door 
that her ladyship was in town but not well enough to see 
anybody. I sent up my card, and the maid came down 
to say would I go to Lady Barringtown's room? I found 
her in bed with the room darkened and her head tied up 
in handkerchiefs steeped in eau-de-Cologne because she 
said her head was " splitting." 

I felt nervous ; something had happened, she was silent 
and kept her eyes shut. I asked her when she began to feel 
so ill, and in a perfectly cold, passionless voice, as if repeat- 
ing a lesson learnt by heart, she said : 

" Directly I got home after my last conversation with 
you I wrote to Captain Cardewe and asked him to come 
and speak to me." Here she sipped some iced water stand- 
ing beside the bed, and then continued, stopping every now 
and then as if something was in her throat, " He came in 
the evening and I told him I had got into disgrace through 
being seen so much with him, and if he really loved me 
with all his heart and soul, as he said he did, if he really 
loved me better than anything else on earth, I was ready if 
he was to go away to the other ends of the earth with him, 
and we would be happy in our own way and care nothing 
for what the world said." 

There was a pause. I did not speak, and presently she 
began again : 

" I cannot — no, I cannot — tell you exactly what he said, 
but amongst other things " (here with a touch of scorn in her 
voice), " dearly as he loved me he loved honour more, and 
had been thinking for some time it would be better to put an 
end to our ' rapport,' as it was doing neither of us any 

I put out my hand in sympathy, but she cried angrily : 

" No, don't touch me, don't come near me, I want to be 
alone, but I thought perhaps you ought to know." 

I crept downstairs feeling as if my hand had dealt the 

I was also once mixed up in a curious divorce case. The 
Honble. Mrs. F , no, I had better call her Mrs. Finch, 


who was young and very charming, informed me she could 
not put up with her husband's infideHties and drinking 
propensities any longer ; she had endured it for three years. 
As all her people held up their hands in horror and refused 
to help her she came to me. 

I tried to dissuade her from carrying out her idea of 
getting a divorce, not because I thought her wrong, but 
because I dreaded for her all the horrors of the proceedings, 
with its sorded details, 

Dolly, for that is the name she was known by amongst 
her intimate friends, informed me she had quite made up 
her mind and nothing would shake her resolve. 

I told her I doubted her getting a divorce. She said in 
tones of surprise, " Why not ? Good gracious, I could 
divorce him a hundred times over ; I used to pretend I did 
not see things, thinking that the most dignified course to 
adopt, but lately Albert has taken to coming home at all 
hours of the day and night and shutting himself up with 
strange companions in the dining-room. I never can tell 
which room I can go into with safety, 

" Even Briggs [the old butler] came the other day and 
said, ' Madam, I regret I must hask you to accept my 
resignation this day month.' When I asked what was 
troubling him he replied, ' Madam, hif you will 'scuse me 
I would rather keep my reminiscences to myself, but I will 
honly say as 'ow all the years I have been a butler in good 
and 'igh families I 'ave never seen such carryings hon, and 
being a Christian man I prefer to take my discharge.' 

Both Briggs and I nearly wept ; he has been in our 
family nearly all his life." 

But, Dolly, has anything fresh happened to make you 
take this sudden determination ? " 

" It is not sudden, I have been trying to make up my 
mind to do it for some time. Why at this moment there is 
a horrid, sniffling little man sitting in the front hall refusing 
to leave until the rent is paid, I am not going to pay 
anything more, and he may sit there until Doomsday for all 
I care. Then last night, or rather early this morning. 


Albert came to bed with the big silver lamp out of the 
dining-room in his arms and proceeded to climb into bed 
while dodging the shade. Oh no ! a thousand times no ! 
I will not have any more of it." 

I advised her to think well before taking the final plunge, 
pointing out how that though a man may be entirely in the 
wrong the blame always falls on the woman's shoulders : 
it is one of the eternal laws. That it is unfair, but there is 
no getting away from that fact ; live with a man and 
fight with him all day, or stay under the same roof and live 
separate lives, and the world smiles upon you, leave him 
and all the indignities of your daily life and your sun 
has set. 

" But," said Dolly, " how unfair ; my husband does not 
even find fault with me, and I have done no \\T:ong." 

" Yes, Dolly, it is monstrously unfair, but, believe me, 
I have seen more of the world than you have, the moment 
you leave the shelter of your husband's home, even if you 
have the privilege of paying for it all, your purgatory has 
begun. Men consider you fair game, and give you no peace. 
If you live alone it is caUed a scandal for so young a woman. 
If you live with another woman every shred of character 
you have, or ever had, is torn to shreds. If you choose to 
live with a man you are looked at askance, though people 
are more interested and rather jealous of you. So you see 
there is really nothing left for poor women to do but marry 
and then make the best of it . I fear I am very disheartening, 
but could you not before it is too late come to some arrange- 
ment with your husband so as to keep up appearances ? " 

No, she would not listen to me, so I continued, " What 
do you mean to do with yourself when you have divorced 
him ? You have no children to occupy your time." 

" No ! thank Heaven, I am spared that misery, of seeing 
the sins of the fathers visited on the children." 

I asked what her people said about it. She replied, " My 
brother, who, you remember, is a sanctimonious prig with 
any amount of that selfish cowardice called high moral tone, 
was delightfully characteristic when I told him of my 


determination. He said, ' I am sorry I can do nothing to 
help you, Dolly, it would be entirely against my principles, 
you married for better or worse. " Whom God hath joined 
together let no man put asunder." ' 

" I then asked him if he thought it proper for a man to 
live with a variety of women and for the proper wife and 
the would-be wives all to dwell together in one house." 

" What did he say to that ? " 

" That it was a painful subject, and he had a train to 

" Have you mentioned the matter to your mother ? " 

" Yes, rather, she shook her head and said wild horses 
would not drag her into the witness-box, as it would offend 
the rest of the family." 

I did not know what to advise as I was by no means 
sure that she was not still fond of the man, so I said, " You 
were fond of your husband once ? " 

" Yes, I was, and I am, in a way, still, but I cannot live 
with him as we are doing at present, it is not right, it is not 
decent, and if I remonstrate with him he says it is not his 
fault, he has such an affectionate nature, it is his unfortu- 
nate temperament and not of his own choosing. Poor, 
irresponsible creature." 

" But, dear girl, if your people will have nothing to do 
with you, where are you going to get your witnesses 
from ? " 

She replied, " Oh, Nanny, my old nurse, whom I love much 
more than I do my mother, and then there are the rest of 
the servants." 

I advised her not to depend on them as they were broken 
reeds to rely upon, and, if unwilling witnesses, such things 
had been heard of as swearing falsely. 

" All I want," cried Dolly, " is for everyone to speak the 

" Exactly, but I only wish to warn you so as to prevent 
you making any mistake, and to prevent you breaking 
your heart when you find at the last moment everybody 
has failed you, and in consequence you are unable to sub- 


stantiate the charges you have brought against your hus- 
band. I am presuming your husband means to defend the 
action ? " 

When the appointed day drew near DoDy asked me to 
go to the court with her, and I agreed. We had to be at 
the court at 10.30. 

When Dolly came to fetch me she looked as fresh as a 
rosebud instead of worried and draggled as I expected, and 
did not appear the least nervous, while I was green with 
horrors. We entered the building that looks so imposing 
from outside but is disappointing within. A policeman told 
us where to go. My friend's jaunty air began to fade a little 
when she saw her husband standing at the top of the stairs, 
and it was all I could do to prevent her stopping and talking 
to him. 

We were shown into a dusty dingy little court. Dolly 
sat by her counsel and I on her other side ; her husband was 
on the other side of the court with his counsel. 

Dolly's side opened the case, stating when she was married, 
where she had lived, and a perambulation which seemed 
very unnecessary, but was, I suppose, a sort of introduction 
of the parties to the judge, who looked frightfully bored and 
sat back as if not in the least interested or paying the 
smallest attention to anything that was being said, while 
really we found afterwards not one little detail had been 
overlooked. Occasionally he leaned forward and made a 
note with pencil and paper. 

Counsel was waxing most eloquent and drawing harrow- 
ing pictures of the life led by the poor wife, when the judge 
turned over the sheets of paper in front of him containing 
the facts of the case and, addressing counsel for the other 
side, said, " There appears to be no charge against the 
plaintiff, there is no third party cited ; is it necessary to go 
any farther with the case ? " 

Defendant's counsel, whom we had been told was very 
clever and loved bullying the witnesses, now stood up, his 
red face gi-owing redder as he replied in an angry tone as if 
he had been personally insulted ; 


" No, my lord, there is no co-respondent in this case, but 
the defendant denies all the charges brought against him, 
and I must ask you to allow me to cross-examine the plaintiff 
and her witnesses in the witness-box. The defendant con- 
siders his wife is unhinged and nervous owing to the drugs 
she has taken to procure sleep." 

" Oh, certainly, certainly," replied the judge, " it only 
appeared to me we might be wasting time, but by all means 
we will continue if " 

Here the judge was interrupted by the defendant stand- 
ing up with a great clatter and saying : 

" It is a shame, judge, I mean sir, I mean my lord, I 
never said anything of the kind. My solicitor kept saying 
she was of unsound mind, but it is not true, she is sound 
enough, and I don't want a divorce, and anyway I won't 
have her called names by a miserable pip-squeak of a 
solicitor or any cock-a-doodle counsel," and he gave such 
a bang on the table by him that he splashed over the 

It was most surprising, and happened all in a moment. 
Major Finch's counsel and solicitor tried to pull him down 
and suppress him, but both were roughly shaken off, and 
it would probably have ended in a free fight had not the 
voice of the judge succeeded in making itself heard, telling 
Major Finch he was entirely out of order, in fact his conduct 
was most irregular : that he would have every opportunity 
given to him to explain anything he liked in proper time, 
and he considered the defendant had been most unparlia- 
mentary and discourteous both to counsel and himself, and 
some apology was due from him. 

Here another bomb-shell exploded, for the defendant's 
counsel stood up, folding his arms and bowing low to the 
judge, after shoving his wig angrily on one side, which gave 
him a very rakish appearance and allowed a stray piece of 
black hair to appear, and said, " My lord, under the circum- 
stance I retire from the case, and no doubt the defendant will 
conduct his own case wth consummate skill." He then 
bundled his papers together and prepared to depart. 


I turned to look at Dolly to see how she was feeling, and 
found her, with eyes full of tears, tying her handkerchief 
into a multitude of knots. 

The judge looked from one counsel to the other and 
suggested that it might be a good thing if plaintiff and de- 
fendant with their respective counsels came into his private 
room and discussed the matter, when he hoped some arrange- 
ment might be arrived at. Whereupon he pushed back his 
chair and with slow and majestic step retired into his room, 
whither Dolly and her husband with their counsels followed. 
I waited in the court to see what happened, but before they 
went into the judge's room Captain Finch and his solicitor 
nearly came to blows, for the latter asked what he meant 
by making him look such a fool ; if he wished to defend the 
case some sort of defence must be made. Captain Finch 
now showed signs of going for the throat of his solicitor, 
so Dolly put out her hand and in a wobbly voice said, " Will 
you come with me, Albert, and see the judge in his room? " 
and off they went hand-in-hand. Dolly tried to drag me 
with her, but I absolutely declined to move, I thought they 
had much better fight it out alone, even if the judge had 
allowed me to go with them. 

Three-quarters of an hour I waited, turning over in my 
mind all sorts of possibihties, when one of the officials in 
the court came and told me Mrs. Finch was in her carriage 
and waiting for me. I ventured to ask the stern-looking 
official if the case was settled. I was longing to know what 
had happened, but all I got in reply was a sulky, " I have 
not been informed, Madam." I thanked him much for that, 
as they did in Alice in Wonderland, and proceeded do^v^ 
the stairs, thinking if they could speak what they could tell 
of broken hearts, desolation, ruin, with possibly a few 
exultant people, but not man3^ I feared. 

I arrived at the carriage bewildered and inclined to be 
angry with somebody, though I did not know why, perhaps 
because none of the rules of the game as I had understood it 
had been adhered to. 

Dolly seized my hand and pulled me in beside her, saying, 


" Don't say a word, don't say a word, and I will tell you 
all about it." 

" The judge is an old dear, and do you know all the time 
he was pretending to be asleep he was taking in every word, 
nothing had escaped him. He talked to Albert like a father, 
something like this : 

" ' You are the defendant, sir, in this case, and it is evident 
from the facts before me that your wife has grave reason 
for displeasure, and every right for her petition to be granted. 
You have behaved very badly, and broken your marriage 
vow. Instead of loving and protecting her you have been 
unfaithful and placed her in a most invidious position, which 
no self-respecting woman could tolerate. You have done 
what the most depraved men hesitate to do, you have 
fouled your own nest. It is not often my pleasure to try a 
case in which there is no co-respondent and no charge 
brought against the plaintiff that can be substantiated. 
But because of the way, gauche though it be, that you re- 
sented any injustice being done to your wife by those whose 
business it is to make the best defence possible for you, I 
have come to the conclusion that you must have some affec- 
tion in your heart for your wife, and perhaps she may see 
her way to let bygones be bygones and try to live with you 
once more. I feel the only excuse that can be made for your 
conduct is that in consequence of drinking more than is 
good for you, you may not always know what you are 

" ' Yes, that's just it, sir — pardon — my lord — I love her 
better than anything on earth, and I am always telling her 
so, but she gets tired of me and cross. I'm a most unfor- 
tunate fellow, I can't help my feelings running away with 
me, and very little upsets me, and — well you know the 

" The judge looked sternly at Albert for a moment or 
two, then in a calm, cold voice said, ' How would you like 
to be under care for a time, where you would be unable to 
get either wine or women ? that suggests itself to me as the 
best solution.' 


" Poor Albert became grey-green with fright and looked 
at me as if to say, aren't you going to say a word for me ? 
I did not know what to say as he has so often promised me 
he would be different and always breaks down again. 

" I told the judge it gave me no pleasure to live in the 
house with my husband, and neither did I think it right. 
He then said considering how loyal and loving my husband 
was, could I not see my way to giving him another chance 
to overcome his weakness with my help, and that perhaps 
I did not know it but it was no uncommon thing for a man 
on finding his wife was going to divorce him to try by every 
means in his power to blacken her character and rake up 
all sorts of stories against her, and only too glad if their 
solicitors can make out a good defence for them ? 

" So I thought poor old Albert had behaved rather well, 
and I agreed I would go to Paris with him to-morrow for a 
little while, and we are going to try again. Now I cannot 
talk any more, my head aches and I feel sick ; I am staying 
with old Nanny, so I will get out here and you go on home 
in the carriage. A thousand thanks, you dear old thing." 


stories from the war zone — Bully-beef tin villages — German food 
rationing upset — Mr. Lloyd George and a General — Field- 
Marshal Lord Methuen — His popularity — His interest in the 
sick — Kindness to the nurses — The King and Queen pay a sur- 
prise visit — What happened — An angry but playful doctor — 
Lord Methuen and the soldiers' canteens — Some scandals — 
Lord Leverhulme and Sir Richard Burbidge make enquiries — 
The military authorities upset — General Sir Julian Byng — His 
new words of command — A dream realised — From charging 
cavalry to charging tanks — Etonians in the war — A human 
document— From a dead man's pocket — A Mrs. V.C. — The 
squire at a concert — A contretemps — Sir Wilfrid Lawson and 
Mr. Justice Grantham — They write verses — Some fellow- 

I COULD fill a book with the stories that have reached 
me from the war zone, and are still reaching me for 
that matter. Some I take with grains of salt, others 
pass in at one ear and out at the other. A few are pitiful 
and tragic, others of disgraceful corruption, and wicked 
waste of taxpayers' money. Stories of gross favouritism, 
mean and un-English tricks : all mixed up with tales of the 
glorious heroism of the fighters who got the plum and apple 
jam not wanted at the base where strawberry and apricot 
were preferred. 

Demobilised men feel they are at liberty now to speak of 
things honour, policy, and D.O.R.A. forbade a while ago. 
Some of the many Generals who have been dismissed at a 
moment's notice and no reason assigned, have stories to tell ; 
some of which the public may hear before long. Those who 
have nothing more to lose see no reason why they should 
not tell a few illuminating stories that will require a good 
deal of explaining ; men who are indignant and angry, 
and have enough for all their wants, and a standing of their 
own, apart from the army or anything it can do to them 


now ; yet of such fine stuff are these Englishmen made that 
they would go again to-morrow if called upon in an emer- 
gency — which may not be so very remote. 

A friend quite lately back from Belgium amused me by 
telling me the people both in France and Belgium were busy 
reconstructing their villages with the unopened British 
bully beef tins that were thrown away in thousands, or 
were used to build up defences, the soldiers having no other 
use for them. 

Another rather neat story which, I believe, originated with 
Lord Northcliffe. The incident occurred during the later 
days of hostility. We had printed thousands of forged 
German food tickets, and our aeroplanes were sent out to 
drop them wholesale in German towns. Of course they were 
quickly picked up and used, completely upsetting the 
enemy's carefully thought-out rationing schemes. 

Then, the Generals themselves — the stories of them are 
legion. Of course no public character can escape criticism, 
and all have come in for their share. Poor souls, all have 
done their best, and if sometimes that best has been 
a mistaken one, and cost us the lives of all that made 
life lovely to us, we must forgive them as we hope to be 

When Lloyd George was at the front some little time ago 
(many of my readers will be able to locate the date) he 
consulted a very popular and aspirateless General as to his 
views on a certain suggested policy in regard to our civilian- 
controlled army. The General was sorry he could have noth- 
ing to do with the proposals as he considered they would 
be disastrous. 

This was disconcerting, and Lloyd George spoke 
strongly. . . . Later in the day he met the General of the 
morning with whom he had had a difference ; so smiling 
blandly, the smile that at times I have thought very charming, 
and at others most aggravating, he invited him to come " for 
a little walk and a little talk along the briny beach," receiving 
in reply, " No, thanks, I'm going out with 'Aig." 

The stories of the hospitals run by private individuals 


or by public subscription are so many, so conflicting, and 
either so utterly disgraceful, or untrue, that I prefer not 
to repeat them. It has pained me to hear the way some 
of the men who have been treated in these hospitals have 
spoken of the women who have been ministering to their 
needs. A few of the stories leave one wondering if 
pure philanthropy has been the guiding motive of their 

At the same time I feel very disgusted with the men for 
their ingratitude, and told them so. For, even if there have 
been irregularities, the hospitals must have been a boon to 
many, even if they did mistake the ladies' kind attentions, 
and the doctors and nurses had high words, and gave 
contradictory orders. 

Writing of hospitals reminds me of the many pleasant 
things I have heard said of Lord Methuen, who has been 
Governor and Commander-in-Chief at Malta since 1915, 
and of the kind things he has said to me of the nurses and 
doctors who have worked in his hospitals out there. He 
began with 260 beds, 9 nurses and 32 medical officers, and 
very shortly had 20,000 patients ; since then he has managed 
28,000 sick, 350 medical officers and 950 nursing staff, and 
he says, " I consider the hospitals were admirably organised 
by the B.R.C.S. and the work of the ladies in them most 
unselfish and beyond all praise. The nurses and V.A.D.'s won 
the gratitude of the patients by their kindness and skill in 
nursing. We had six exceedingly clever consulting sur- 

Lord Methuen is a very courteous, gentle and unselfish 
man himself, and in his modest way told me he thought the 
hospitals in Malta had proved of use. I should think they 
have. A friend of mine, a young girl who had before the war 
never seen anything worse than a cut finger, has just come 
home after devoting the whole of the last four years to 
nursing in France and Malta, and she is most eloquent in 
praise of Lord Methuen 's untiring devotion to the sick and 
his thought fulness for the nurses, in the little details which 
often matter so much his influence was felt, and showed 


how he interested himself in the comfort and well-being of 
all. Here is one little instance ; 

Two sisters came from home ready to give their lives if 
necessary, and if by so doing they could help or comfort the 
sick and wounded. They felt very strange and staggered 
at the magnitude of the task in front of them and not a 
little home-sick. A thoughtless, and possibly too busy 
hospital authority, arranged for these sisters to be located 
at different work in different parts of the town. Lord 
Methuen ever ready and watchful suggested it would be 
better, and he wished the sisters not to be separated, at any 
rate, until more acclimatised to their new surroundings 
and work. They were overjoyed. 

When the nurses wanted rest he and Lady Methuen had 
them at the Palace and did all that was possible for their 
happiness and comfort. Used to lend them his box at the 
opera, also to the soldiers when convalescent. The opera 
was free on Sundays for both nurses and invalids. Concert 
parties from England came to cheer, and a number of local 
people gave their services at concerts and amusements for 
the benefit of the soldiers, to try and help them to forget 
the past horrors, and in some cases the miserable future. 

I once asked Lord Methuen which of all the big appoint- 
ments that he has held had he liked best ? He replied, 
" This one at Malta, I have liked no appointment more. 
It suited a man of my advanced years." It would no doubt 
under ordinary circumstances have been restful after his 
busy life and many campaigns. It so happened that Malta 
was the half-way house, so to speak, between East and West 
for soldiers, sailors, transport, and all things appertaining 
to the war, so that he was kept very busy, and his past 
experience of men and things helped to make all easier than 
might have been the case had a less experienced man held 
the appointment at the time. 

The same nurse who told me stories of Lord and Lady 
Methuen 's kindness to them all in the hospitals at Malta, 
told me the following little story of a hospital in France. 
She was very busy dressing wounds of soldiers when an order 


came she was to prepare at once to evacuate a number of 
them, and set to work to make all ready and as comfort- 
able as possible for the move. She had to make all haste 
as many wanted attending to, and their wounds di-essed 
afresh before their ordeal. In the middle of it came a 
message that the King and Queen were on their way to 
pay a visit to the hospital and all must be put in apple-pie 
order for their inspection. Happily for the men, my friend 
says, the sister in charge was a humane person and said, 
" Well, it cannot be helped the men must be attended to before 
anything else, they cannot be allowed to start on a long 
journey as they are and you must go on dressing them ; 
I am sure the King and Queen will understand." So my 
friend continued her work without another thought except 
for the poor shattered and suffering man whose wounds 
she was dressing : hearing steps behind the screen and being 
short of some dressing she wanted, without looking up she 
popped her head round the screen and called the orderly 
telling him to be quick and bring her the certain thing she 
wanted, then suddenly looking up found she was address- 
ing the King and Queen, but she returned to her patient 
at once, knowing well that is what they would wish her 
to do. 

I find some of the soldiers, as well as some of the nurses, 
amongst themselves speak of the King and Queen as 
" George and Mary," which sounds disrespectful even for 
democratic Royalties, but it is, I believe, meant to show 
affection, at least, I like to think it is. 

It is a thousand pities that when the King and Queen 
visit the hospitals they are not allowed to see them in every- 
day working order, instead of everything being hidden 
away, the sheet turned down the regulation number of 
inches and stretched tight over the awful sights beneath, 
they would surely rather see the sick being attended to 
instead of having to wait for their food, and general every- 
day little requirements, a fresh poultice, a drink of water, 
and all the thousand things invalids are always wanting, 
than have to wait until their tour of inspection is over. 


The Kiiig and Queen are full of sympathy for the wounded 
and visit the hospitals to please the patients and as an 
expression of their appreciation of their gallant services 
as well as to encourage those nursing them, yet red tape 
spoils it all. In the particular case of which I have been 
writing as soon as the Royalties had gone, big-wigs of sorts, 
and medical authorities came down on the humane sister 
and reprimanded her for not having her hospital all standing 
to attention and the work at a standstill when the Royalties 
paid their visit. Having delivered this harangue, the chief 
medical officer present passed out of the hospital, not 
forgetting to chuck a pretty little V.A.D. under the chin 
en route, and informing her of what she already knew, 
namely that she was a nice, pretty little thing. 

After all the stories I have heard of the hospitals it is 
restful and pleasant to think of those where the nurses 
and doctors worked amongst the sick, the dying and the 
dead, remembering, " the Place whereon thou standest is 
Holy Ground." 

Lord Methuen has at all times worked hard for the 
better working of the soldiers' canteens which have been 
such scandals. In South Africa when he commanded 
Methuen 's Horse in 1884-5, when Deputy Adjutant -General 
in 1888, when General Officer Commanding-in-Chief 1907-9. 
As Governor of Natal in 1909, he did his utmost to alter 
the very faulty existing methods of management and to get 
them on a sound working basis, so as to be a blessing and a 
boon to the Tommies. 

Originally these institutions were intended for the benefit 
of the troops and not for profiteers, the idea being that the 
men would, and should, be able to get what they want at little 
over cost price, and without having to go far afield to look for 
their requirements. The small profit made being to go to 
the future good of the canteens themselves. There has been 
too much private enterprise in canteen management, and 
bitter are the complaints that have been poured into my 
ears. I have even heard vows of vengeance. The men are 
so helpless, especially in war time, when every other place 



where they can buy anything is placed out of bounds. 
Even in this European war the scandals have been " loud 
and long " as one man expressed it to me. 

Quartermasters and sergeants have been known to feather 
their nests at the soldiers' expense, and out of their miserable 

Lord Leverhulme, at that time Sir William Lever, and the 
late Sir Richard Burbidge amongst others, were asked to 
enquire into the latest scandals ; it was hoped that business 
men might be able to locate the trouble and place the 
canteens on proper footings. Then followed more trouble, 
as military folk not usually endowed with great business 
capabilities resented any poking and prying into what they 
considered their business, and business methods of getting 
to the bottom of ever5rthing were objectionable ; so it was 
decided to tell these good business men that while appreciat- 
ing their efforts and acumen it was not desirable to further 
requisition their services as they were too busy to be ex- 
pected to give their time to the matter to the extent re- 
quired. The public formed their own conclusions, not 
entirely complimentary to the military authorities in 
question. Though the very nature of the enquiry was 
such as to make the employment of business men open 
to objections, of a nature quite easy to grasp. 

Lord Methuen has been popular wherever his appoint- 
ments have led him, and has never suffered from a swelled 
head, which is refreshing ; he does not seem to regard every 
one he meets as an offensive subordinate who should fall 
fiat on his face when his superior frowns. 

He was at Sandhurst with my brother, General Bewicke- 
Copley ; they used to play cricket together and such-like 
games. My brother was also with him in the Tirah campaign 
as his Assistant Adjutant -General. 

I think the next most popular General of my acquaintance, 
though of a different era, is Sir JuHan Byng, he is as straight 
as Sir William Robertson, and as plain spoken, nobody need 
have any fear of his saying anj^hing behind their backs 
that he will not say to their faces; he is what we used 


to call a gentleman, in the days when that word had any 

It fell to his lot to give the enemy the most painful sur- 
prise of the war ; when in November, 1918, his well-kept 
secret was unfolded. Most of us remember that time ; his 
anxiety must have been great, fearing some breath of his 
scheme might reach the German lines. But we know now 
it did not, and when in the darkness his Tanks crept up 
and he told his men that he depended on every man doing 
his " damnedest," they understood his new words of com- 
mand and liked them. All did their damnedest and they 
crunched over wire entanglements, over trenches, over all 
that came in their way. It was a great day which no one 
present will quickly forget. 

General Byng's orders and remarks are usually pithy 
and to the point : he was the man who was asked by Lord 
Kitchener his views on the Dardanelles problem. He replied 
briefly, " We must get on or get out." Most of his big 
undertakings have been successes ; those who are competent 
to judge speak of his masterly handling of the Canadians 
on the Western front. He it was that initiated the big 
offensive at Vimy Ridge. When first I knew him he had 
just joined the loth Hussars, and was the shy youth who 
spoke little but thought much, that you see marked with a 
cross in the group of the loth Hussars taken about that time, 
and given to me by one of those in the picture when they 
were ordered off to Egypt. He served through the Soudan 
Campaign, including El Teb and Tamai. The dream of 
most loth Hussar men is to command the regiment, doubt- 
less it was Julian Byng's dream, and it was realised in 1902. 

When we remember his training was as a cavalry man it 
seems strange to think of him leading forlorn hopes in Tanks, 
but if strange to us, it must, on reflection, have seemed 
stranger to the General. He has had a varied experience 
since 1914. In October of that year he landed in Belgium 
in command of the 3rd Cavalry Division and was with 
General Rawlinson's 7th Division in their retreat from 
Antwerp to Ypres. In May, 1915, he succeeded General 

- O 




Allenby in command of the Cavalry Corps. In August of 
the same year he went to Gallipoli to command the 9th 
Corps, and remained there until the evacuation. His lucky 
star has been in the ascendant throughout the war, and I 
am glad he has come safely home in the flesh and without 
having been torn to pieces either justly or unjustly. 

It is interesting to look at the photograph of him as a 
youth and as he is now, after having faced the music many 
times and on different ways. In a letter I received from 
him a few days ago he said, " It is satisfying to realise that 
what one has thought of for thirty years has been accom- 
plished, but the price has been very heavy." 

General Byng was at Eton, as a great majority of the men 
mentioned in this book have been. It is remarkable the free- 
masonry that still holds good between all that have been edu- 
cated at that college of sportsmen and good manners, rather 
than of learning. Mr. Shane Leslie in that delightful epi- 
grammatic and cynical book of his, " The End of a Chapter," 
speaking of Eton says, " The head is not chosen by the 
votes of the school, but by a governing body. However, as 
an inclination to democracy he cannot use the birch until it 
has been presented to him formally by the boys themselves." 
As this is an old-established custom it sounds more as if 
democracy was of long standing, rather than an innovation. 

Eton, as of old, has played a good part in the Great War : 
no fewer than thirteen have gained that modest looking 
little cross " For Valour " ; seven hundred and seventy- 
two were killed in action ; two hundred and seventeen died 
of wounds, and one hundred and thirty-five died from other 
causes in connection with the war, while no less than one 
thousand and sixty-eight were wounded or damaged by 
gas. This shows that out of five thousand one hundred 
and sixty old Etonians who have taken part in the war one 
in five at least have made the supreme sacrifice — a terrible 
percentage. If Eton had no other claim to our affections 
the splendid comradeship that exists between all who have 
been there would make it stand head and shoulders above 
any other educational centre that I know. The way all 


General Maude's contemporaries at Eton wrote and spoke 
of him, when he achieved his series of successes in Mesopo- 
tamia, and their real grief when he died was Hke the pleasure 
and grief of a most united family ; and I have often noticed 
when abroad, if old Etonians meet, they foregather at once 
and help each other as a matter of course. 

It is difficult to stop writing of the brave men who have 
fought, and those who have died, that we might stay safely 
in our homes, sad and lonely though many now be, and it is 
hard to leave off writing about my fellow-travellers, the 
many good friends who have been one of the great 
happinesses of my life. I owe them a deep debt of 

There are many wonderful stories stiU that I could tell, 
but the time is not yet ; partly because it is too soon, all 
is too painfully fresh ; partly because other people are in- 
volved ; partly — for many reasons. But I must not forget 
the story of how Norman de Crespigny died, to which 1 
referred earlier in the book. 

Lieutenant Claude Norman Champion de Crespigny, 
Queen's Bays, met his death on September 14th at Nery at 
the south-west corner of the Forest of Compiegne in the 
early days of the war when our troops were " up against it." 

One of his brother officers in the Queen's Bays, when 
writing to give the sad news to the lad's father (my kind 
friend Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny), describes how 
the Bays were enveloped in a thick fog and were being 
outflanked by the enemy, which meant the regiment 
would be wiped out. Quickly grasping the situation, 
Norman de Crespigny, though already badly wounded, with 
a bare handful of men, made a sortie on the regiments to 
the right — the handful and their gallant leader were the 
ones wiped out, but the regiment was saved — I think and 
hope that de Crespigny lived long enough to hear that 
what he had given his life to do had been accomplished. 
When found, his body was nearest to the German lines. 
He had received two more mortal wounds from shrapnel 
and was in agony, but no words, not even a groan, escaped 


his lips, and thus he died with splendid courage and 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gives a graphic account of this 
battle of Nieuport in his book, " The British Campaign in 
France and Flanders, 1914," and on pages 127 and 132 he 
refers to young de Crespigny's bravery. 

In his Preface Sir Arthur says, " To record the heroic deeds 
of a division and yet be compelled to leave out the name of 
the man who made it so efficient is painful to the feelings of 
a writer, but the book was written at a time when no mention 
was allowed of any names other than those of Generals." 

General Allenby, writing to the lad's father, said, " No 
man could have done more, few would have done as 

It is hard to find any comfort when one's sons have been 
cut off before they have tasted the joys of life, but it must 
be some comfort and a matter of pride to Norman de Cres- 
pigny's people that through their son's bravery he saved 
his regiment (The Bays), enabling them to advance dis- 
mounted, all their horses having been shot or stampeded, 
and recover the guns of L Battery, R.H.A. 

Norman was buried with sixteen others. Colonel Brad- 
bury, who lost both legs, and Campbell (brother officers), 
twelve " Bays " and two Germans. 

Sir Claude de Crespigny had his son's body exhumed and 
it received a military funeral, being conveyed on a gun- 
carriage to the family mausoleum at Maldon. This was in 
November 14th, 1914, and he lies beside his gallant elder 
brother who is described in " The V.C." book of D. H. 
Parry's as having been deprived of his Victoria Cross by 
" cruel injustice." 

I know a good deal about this miscarriage of justice and 
have seen many of the letters that passed between the 
authorities. It was only through a mistake that the present 
Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny's eldest son did not 
receive this much-coveted reward. I refer to Captain 
Claude de Crespigny, of the 2nd Life Guards, the only 
officer in the Household Cavalry who was recommended for 


this recognition of his services by his Divisional General 
and by Lord Roberts. 

Colonel Neeld, at that time commanding the Household 
Cavahy in South Africa, writing to another military 
authority, the present General Porter, at that time com- 
manding the first Cavahy Brigade in South Africa, says, 
" My report of de Crespigny (2nd Life Guards) was un- 
fortunately lost and seems never to have reached Sir J. 
French. During the fighting round Rensburg de Crespigny 
was in charge of a reconnoitring party. Two men of the 
advanced guard of this party were fired on and the horse 
of one of them killed. De Crespigny took a troop horse, his 
own having been twice wounded under him, and rode to the 
assistance of the trooper, whose horse had been killed 
under a heavy fire. This second horse was almost 
immediately killed, but eventually de Crespigny and the 
trooper, assisted by another trooper who rode to their aid, 
reached safety. 

If you would write to Sir J. French I shall be very grate- 

These are the bald facts epitomised of much the same 
calibre as that for which the late Lord William Beresford 
and others I could name have received the much-valued 
Victoria Cross. 

Upon receipt of Colonel Neeld 's letter. General Porter 
wrote the following to Sir John French : 

Trematon Castle, 

Saltash, Cornwall. 
My Dear Sir John, 

I have received the enclosed correspondence, which 
speaks for itself. 

A strong recommendation was sent in by Neeld at the 
time and forwarded by me to you. Somehow it appears to 
have been lost, but how or where after this lapse of time 
I do not know, but suggest possibly John Vaughan might 
recollect the circumstances and give some clue . . . possibly 
a line from you might put the matter right. 




Then follows Sir John French's letter wTitten to Sir 
Claude de Crespigny, from 

Government House, 
Farnborough, Hants. 
My dear Sir Claude, 

I send you a letter I have from Lord Roberts. I 
forwarded him the two enclosed recommendations and also 
a very strong one from myself. Lord Roberts's inference 
that because I mentioned j'our son in despatches therefore 
I had thrown out my wish that he should receive the Cross 
is not what I intended should be drawn. I'm afraid there 
is nothing more to be done. 

Yours very sincerely, 
J. D. P. French. 

Lord Haldane, writing from the War Office later, says 
that while " undoubtedly de Crespigny performed a most 
gallant action in the opinion of his expert advisers it was 
not one within the category for which the Victoria Cross is 
given. The expert advisers were the four military members 
of the Army Council, and that therefore the decision of 
Lord Roberts was quite right." 

Considering the despatch was lost that seems a little lame. 

In Parry's book, which I have already mentioned, he 
writes : 

" Captain de Crespigny of the 2nd Life Guards, whose 
gallantry near Rensburg was beyond question. . . . His 
not receiving the Victoria Cross will always remain a 
monument of singular injustice. 

" His recommendation for the V.C. was lost, and although 
the facts subsequently substantiated were endorsed by 
Lord Roberts and Sir John French, the authorities justified 
their refusal to reopen the question by a most extraordinary 
reading of the warrant. The case will be found clearly set 
forth in ' The Army and Navy Gazette ' for December, 1911. 
It is a hard case, unfortunately one of the many that show 
the curious workings of the official mind." 

One dare not hope that all who deserve the Victoria Cross 


will get it, the present generation can remember other in- 
stances. None of us have forgotten our feelings when Sir 
Ian Hamilton, then only a young subaltern, was recom- 
mended for the V.C. for his superb bravery at Majuba, when 
he tried many times at the risk of his life to arouse the 
authorities to a sense of their imminent danger but without 
success, the result being disaster, which, had his warning 
been attended to, might have been averted. All who knew 
anything about it, considered he richly deserved this honour ; 
but he did not receive it. It was much the same with Young- 
husband, and again with de Crespigny of the Life Guards. 

The death of the latter was very sad. He had suffered a 
good deal from a bullet which hit him in the groin in the 
action at Poplar Grove, it travelled up his body and was 
located by the X-ray at the back of his heart, and from 
another wound when in command of an advance guard in 
West Africa. On top of this came a bad attack of influenza 
from which he never recovered. 

I think his innumerable falls and accidents while steeple- 
chasing, hunting and at polo had weakened his power of 
resistance to that deadly malady. 

The de Crespignys are born fighters. They are an old 
Norman family who fought in the First Crusade, and in that 
under St. Louis, and were champions to the Dukes of 
Normandy and Brittany. They owned the lands of Fon- 
tenay, Fleuriere and Crespigny. Claude Champion de 
Crespigny, Vicomte de Vire, and his wife the Countess de 
Vierville, quitted the latter place at the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes. He was at that time an officer in the 
French army and was subsequently given a commission 
in the British army and fought under Marlborough. 

It can be readily understood that no soldier would care 
to argue about or wish to receive the Victoria Cross if it 
was not considered his due, and offered to him spontaneously, 
and that they would deprecate any suggestion that they 
should receive it. But the relatives of those men have feel- 
ings, and it is not smrprising that they may try to see 
justice done to their belongings, though the individual 


himself would not raise a finger towards it. Soldiers are 
very modest men — most of them. 

If Kerensky had possessed the will power and courage 
of the de Crespignys the chaos of Russia might have been 

What our men have suffered is only known to a few, for 
men do not freely speak of these things, the facts can only 
be gathered by degrees of the awful misery and hopelessness 
that has been experienced when they were so " up against 
it " that even praying became impossible, and humour took 
its place, that oft -time saviour of our sanity. 

One of the most human documents I ever read was a 
prayer found in the pocket of a dead man who was killed 
in action on October nth, 1917, at 4.30 p.m., in Flanders. 
It was sent to me by a friend who had copied it, he tells me. 

It is eloquent of the mental and physical sufferings of the 
writer and those around him. 

" Father of all. Helper of the free, we pray with anxious 
hearts for all who fight on sea or land, and in the air, to 
guard our homes and liberty. 

" Make clear the vision of our leaders and their counsels 

" Into Thy care our ships and seamen we commend : 
guard them from chance-sown mines and all the dangers 
of this war at sea : make true their aim in mist, or battle 
smoke, by night or day, and, as of old, give them victory. 

" To men on watch, give vigilance ; to those below calm 

" Make strong our soldiers' hearts, and brace their nerves 
against the bursting shrapnel, and the unseen fii-e, that lays 
the next man low. 

" In pity blind them from the sight of fallen comrades 
left upon the field. 

" May Christ Himself in Paradise receive the souls of those 
who pass through death. 

" Let not soldiers ever doubt that they shall overcome the 
forces of that King who seeks to ' wade through slaughter 
to a throne and shut the gate of mercy on mankind.' 

r •, 

' \ 

^ . 




" O God of Love and Pity, have compassion on the 
wounded, make bearable their pain, or send unconscious- 
ness. To surgeons and to dressers give strength that 
knows no failing, and skill that suffers not from desperate 

" To tired men give time for rest. 

" Pity the poor beasts that suffer for men's wrong. 

" For us at home, let not that open shame be ours that 
we forget to ease the sufferings of the near and dear of 
the brave men in the firing line. 

" O Thou who makest human hearts the channel of Thy 
answers to our prayers, let loose a flood of sympathy and 
help, for children and their mothers and all who wander 
desolate and suffering, leaving wrecked homes, and fields, 
and gardens trodden under ruthless feet. 

" With Thee who sufferest more than all, may we in 
reverence Thy burden share, for all are Thine and in Thine 
image made, they too are Thine who caused the wTong. 

" O Father, may this war be mankind's last appeal to 

" Grant us from this stricken earth, sown with Thy dead, 
an everlasting bower of peace shall spring, and all Thy 
world become a garden, where this flower of Christ shall 

" And this we beg for our dear Elder Brother's sake, who 
gave Himself for those He loved, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

A few days ago when discussing present-day politics and 
the unsettled state of the labour market I was asked whose 
word I would rather rely upon, that of a Jew financier or 
one of our present-day politicians. I replied without hesi- 
tation, " The Jew financier." But I will leave the vexed 
question of politics. 

We are all very proud of our men when they have done 
well, and glad when they are rewarded, but I hope many 
of us will not be carried off our mental balance to the ex- 
tent I witnessed the other day on a South-Western plat- 
form. A certain wife, whose husband had lately been 


decorated \^dth the Victoria Cross, was so full of pride that 

she had painted iii large white letters on her bonnet box — 

Mrs. , V.C. 

At the time I saw this unusual luggage decoration I was 
on my way to assist at a village concert got up in aid of 
some of the many requirements of the troops that we fondly 
imagined our taxes covered. A jovial little squire who lived 
in the neighbourhood had also promised to assist by singing 
a rollicking song or two, though his summers numbered 
seventy. When he was half through the first song and all 
was going excellently we saw something drop at his feet. 
There was a moment's pause ; he stooped down, picked up 
the something that had dropped, popped it into his mouth, 
continuing his warble just where he had left it off as if 
nothing had occurred. Splendid man. The audience, most 
of whom had known the squire all their lives, cheered him 
loudly, for how could he have sung without them ? He 
felt he deserved a drink after his efforts, but these are cold 
water days and do not appeal to him. 

How pleased Sir Wilfrid Lawson would have been if he 
had lived to see the present-day teetotal drinks. He and 
Mr. Justice Grantham once had an amusing controversy by 
correspondence in Cumberland as to the application of the 
Black List on the Licensing Act. It arose out of Grantham's 
charge to the Grand Jury when he told them they must not 
expect that a mere reduction of public-houses would in itself 
put an end to drunkenness. He then referred to the very 
early sin as recorded in the Bible as a proof that drunkenness 
was known long before the introduction of public-houses. 

Sir Wilfrid Lawson, the veteran teetotaller, was foreman 
of the jury, and replied to the learned judge's charge the 
next day in the following lines : 

Sir William, to-day you made mention of Noah, 

Who of the old barque took command : 
Who, though probably never tipsy before, 

Got drunk when he reached dry land. 
If you had been there when he left the old barque 

Which the floods and the storms had resisted, 
I believe that the instant he came from the Ark 

You'd have had him Black Listed. 

U 2 


The following came from the judge's lodgings in Carlisle : 

Dear Sir Wilfrid, I think you are hard 

On Noah, that poor old sinner. 

Because on first landing for once he took 

A drop too much for his dinner. 

Remember the life he had led 

Cooped up in that tiny Ark 

While it rained cats and dogs from morning to night 

And deluged his ugly old barque. 

But I am sure as a county " beak," 
A " beak " of rare good sense, 
Will look at least with a lenient eye 
On a criminal's first offence. 

I feel it would be most ungrateful of me to lay down my 
pen without having mentioned or expressed any gratitude 
to my feathered friends who have been my constant com- 
panions through all the varying scenes of my life — the dear 
little birds that accompany us on our journeys sharing our 
gladness and our sadness, like the poor always with us, and 
like us unconscious instruments carrying out in fulfilment 
some vast design of which they know as little as the gnat 
or mosquito that they eat, and like us pawns in a game that 
is being played with us, as with the sun and stars in the 

Birds have their religion just as we have ours, the only 
difference between their faith and ours lies in the trim- 
ming. The swallows are perhaps the most religious, they 
collect on the church tower for their evensong and choir 
practices, and gather up there for one last big festival 
before that strange force hereditary instinct makes them 
leave our shores to face great perils by night and day. 

Maybe it is the beautiful air in which they live that makes 
them such calm, contented philosophers, or maybe they 
have heard the whisper that has not reached us yet. Birds 
have comparatively few conflicts within themselves. In- 
stinct makes roads before they are seen instead of seeing 
them before they are made. 

We set great store on ourselves, our much- vaunted 
superiority, but how do we know the predominance we have 


chosen for ourselves is of any more importance than the 
system that rules the birds and the trees ? Nature thinks 
no more of us, respects us no more, than she does the fussy 
blue-bottle or the busy bee, indeed less, for we are self- 
conscious and articulate, anticipating our sorrows and de- 

The swallows have travelled far with me in foreign lands 
and been nearest to me in my own, for they have built 
their nests close to my windows and within my doors. 
What would summer be to us without them ? It would 
hardly be summer at all. Why do they ever leave us when 
they are so welcome ? Have they, I wonder, any ornitho- 
logical Bradshaw telling them when and where to go ? 

It is fascinating to contemplate the great interest which 
has carried them in their annual flight across uncharted 
seas since the hills were young, for migration is of great 
antiquity. Jeremiah, with his tenderness and beauty of 
sentiment, refers to the migration of the swallows, while 
in the Vatican there are documents dating back to 588 B.C. 
referring to the same subject. 

The Persians and Arabs count on their calendars from the 
disappearance and reappearance of the migratory birds. 
These little bodies and big hearts do not migrate for pleasure 
any more than we come into this world for pleasure and to 
please ourselves. They are hurrying on in hopes of warmth 
and comfort, just as we are hurrying on in hopes of leaving 
chaos for cosmos, with little more, indeed perhaps not so 
much, knowledge of why we do it or what will be the end. 

Birds have a wonderful knowledge of topography owing 
to the height at which they fly. When the valleys are 
wrapped in gloom and darkness they naturally seek the tops 
of the hills and mountains still kissed by the reflected light 
of the setting sun, just as we when wishing to find our way 
in a strange country cHmb the nearest hiU or tree to find 
our bearings. 

All who love these fellow-travellers, whether swallows or 
other migrant birds, must be interested in their cries as 
they pass us on their way to other shores in the silent night. 


Some keep up an incessant cry, others are quite silent. 
Larks call perpetually, and the moment they reach earth 
sing loud and long — a thanksgiving I sometimes think. 

There Is a good deal of method in the way birds arrange 
their lives. Those that are sickly or in any way injured 
are the first to leave us, evidently thinking they will take 
longer on the journey, and prefer to travel when there is 
no crowd. One of the strangest parts of their methods is 
the way the young birds who have never before left the 
home of their birth will start off alone without parents or 
companion to show them or tell them where to go, and all 
birds start away on the darkest nights. 

The tragedy of it is that so many perish every year and 
come back to us no more. Pathetic sights may be seen 
around a lighthouse during the migrating season, when 
numbers of tired, hungry little bodies fly towards the light, 
knowing that where man is they will find food and resting 
place, ending too often in their own light being put out for 
ever by dashing themselves to pieces against the glass, 
dazzled by the light . 

One of the most beautiful things in life is the way birds 
meet death : so different from the unreasonable fear many 
human beings experience. Birds have no dread, just a 
peaceful sleeping away. Take for example the round-eyed, 
inquisitive robin that has been all activity and life. He 
does not feel well, is not hungry, so sits on a branch or a 
railing and ruffles out his feathers. After a while, feeling 
no better, he makes his way into a holly bush or some deep 
shadow where he hops on to a branch, generally rather low 
dowTi, ruffles out his feathers still more, lifts one leg and 
tucks it up, puts his head under his wing and sleeps away, 
no crowd about his death-bed, no psalm singing, only a 
great faith, bowing to the inevitable in perfect silence, peace 
and dignity. 

They have no fear because to-morrow may wear a dif- 
ferent face. 

We are all links in one great chain, all parts of some vast 
design. It is some of the smallest links that hold the big 


ones together. Who can say some of the smaller ones — 
our birds, our dogs and dumb companions — have not ful- 
filled their part by giving us pleasure and courage, and 
cheering some of our darkest hours? Though we cannot 
now understand what they say to us, I should not like to 
say we never shall. 




Abdul Rahman, Amir of Afghanis- 
tan, 68, 71, 85 

Afghan Boundary Commission, the, 
66, 69, 70, 73-103 

Afghan War, 1878-80, 70 

Afghanistan, late Amir of, 67-69 

Agadir, 16 

Ahmed Bey, 43 

" Akhal Jekkes," the, 71 

Alikhanoff, 78, 79, 82 

Allenby, General, 19, 289, 291 

Amara, 42 

Anglo- Japanese Alliance, 177-179 

Asquith, Mr. H., 212, 215 

Asquith, Mrs., 140 

Aylmer, General, 14 


Badakshan, 72 

Baghdad, 16, 30. 32, 37, 41-43, 47, 

Baghdad Railway, the, 42, 45 
Balfour, Mr. A. J., 13, 103, 104, 

177, 179 
BaratofE, General, 43 
Barringtown, Lady, 266-272 
Baxura Peninsula, the, 45 
Basra, 13, 14, 24, 39, 42 
" Bays," the, 290, 291 
Baled Station, 44 
Beresford, the late Lord William, 

Bertie, Lord, 13 
Bewicke-Copley, General, 287 
Bokhara, 67, 71, 98 
" Buffs," the, 46, 47, 51 
Biilow, Count von, 177 
Burbidge, late Sir Richard, 287 
Byng, Sir Julian, 35. 287-289 

Cairo, 6g 

" Cambrian News," the, 210 

Campbell, Sir W. Pitcairn, 19 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., 212 

Candler, Edmund, 31 

Cardewe, Capt., 266-272 

Cardewe, Mrs., 268-271 

Carlton, Miss BiUie, 180 

Carter, Major, R.A.M.C., 39 

Castlereagh, Lady. See Lady Lon- 

Catherine IL 126 

Cato, Colonel, 216-237 

Cato, Mrs., 216-237 

Centanini, Count, 132, 134 

Chamberlain, Mr. Joseph, 177, 179 

ChirriaieflE, Mme, 139 

Clarke, Sir Edward, 211 

Connaught, Duke of, 52 

Constantinople, 9, 10 

Cooper, General, 17 

Cork, Lord, 178 

Cornish, F. W., Housemaster at 
Eton, 4 

Cossacks, the, 92-94 

Crespigny, Sir Claude de, 18, 19, 

Crespigny, Capt. Claude de, 291- 

Crespigny, Lieut Norman de, 19, 
290, 291 

Cromer, Lord, 1 79 

Ctesiphon, 24, 38, 40 


Dahra Bend, the, 37 
" Daily News," the, 211 
" Daphne," 56-66 
Dardanelles, the, 26, 55, 288 
Dardanelles Campaign, the, 8-10 
Davies, General Sir Francis, 7, 35 
Dawson, General Vesey, 35, 36 
Deli Abbas, 43 

Demeliovitch, Grand Duke, 145 
Dennis, Dora, 238-256 
Dennis, Rev. Edward, 239-255 




Derby, Earl of, 1 3 
Devonshire, Duke of, 177 
Dolgorouki, the late Prince Alexis, 

Doyle, Sir A. Conan, 291 
Drummond, General Lawrence, 5 
Duff, Sir Beauchamp, 17-19 
Dujail Canal, the, 45 
Dunster, 173-175 
Durand, Sir Edward, 73, 78 

Eckhardstein, Baron von, 176-180 
Edward VII, 176-178, 213 
Egypt, 67-69 
Elisabeth, late Empress of Austria, 

Enver Pasha, 26, 69 
Eton, 289, 290 
Euphrates, the, 15, 28, 42, 43 

Fairfax, Mr., 218-221, 227-236 
Falahiyah, 21 
Fermoy, late Lord, 182 
Finch, Capt., 272-280 
Finch, Mrs., 272-280 
Firman, Lieut., 25 
Follett, Col. WilUam, 35 
Forbes, Capt., 30 

French, Field Marshal Lord, ig, 
292, 293 

Gallipoli, 8-12, 26, 289 
George V, 6, 51, 70, 286 
George, David Lloyd, Prime Min- 
ister — 

appreciation of, 211 

as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
212, 213 

his designs upon the House of 
Lords, 213 

characteristics of, 206, 208, 209 

his defects, 215 

early training of, 206 

at the Front, 282 

his Government saved by the 
action of Sir W. Robertson, 13 

gratitude of, 210 

and Lord Northcliffe, 215 

repartees of, 209, 210 

as solicitor, 207 

warlike attitude of, 205 


influence in Russia, 11 8-1 21 
interest in Persia, 69 
intrigues in Afghanistan, 68 
monopolises Russian trade, 121, 

propaganda in India, 67 

Gibson, Sir John, 210 

Gok Tapa, 71 

Gorringe, Sir G. F., 27 

Grantham, Mr. Justice, 297, 298 

Grey, Lady Sybil, 162 

Guersberg, Bara de, 139 

Gully Beach, 9, 55 

Gulran, 79, 81, 83, 86, 89 


Hai Salient, the, 37 

Haig, Field-Marshal Sir Douglas, 

12, 16 
Haldane, Lord, 293 
Hamilton, General Sir Ian, 11, 12, 

54. 55. 294 
Hannah Position, the, 21, 22 
Harbe, 44 

Hasheen and Tamai, Battle of, 5 
Hawtrey's Preparatory School, 4, 

Hayashi, Count, 179, 180, 215 
Hayman, Mrs., 192-196 
" Helen," 131-152 
Hellas, Cape, 8 
Helmund River, the, 73, 76, 77, 

Heltzendorff, Count Ernest von, 

180, 181 
Herat, 66, 67, 70, 72, 88 
Hesse, Grand Duke of, 166 
Hindu Kush, the, 99 
Hochberg, Count von, 173-176, 

Holditch, Sir Thomas, 75 
Howard Dr., 245-248, 255, 256 

John, the late Prince, 213 
" Julnar," the, 25 


Kabul, 66, 68, 99, 100 
Kandahar, 66, 70 
Karun, 28 



Kavanagh, d.s.o., General, 435 

Kazi-Saad-ud-din, 76 

Kerensky, 295 

Khadaire Bend, the, 37 

Khalil Pasha, 25 

Khiva, 71 

Kinsky, Prince, 176 

Kitchener, Earl, 11, 15, 18, 43, 6g, 

Kizil Robat, 43 
Kohsan, 77, 78 
Ksheriska, Russian ballet dancer, 

Kuhlberg, Colonel, 89, 91, 199 
Kut, 13, 43 
Kut, first battle of, 40 
Kyasht, Mme Lydia, 130, 139, 141 

Labouchere, Mr., 215 

Lake, Sir Percy, 17, 27 

Lambton, d.s.o.. Gen. the Hon., 4, 

Lansdowne, Lord, 177, 179 

Laventie, 7 

Lawrence, Gen. Sir Herbert, 55 

Lawson, Sir Wilfrid, 297, 298 

Leslie, Mr. Shane, 289 

Lessar, M., 89, 91, 99 

Leverhulme, Lord, 287 

Levita, General, 4 

Lipkowska, Lydia, 139 

Lloyd, Sir Francis, 19 

Londonderry, late Marquess of, 
103, 104, 108 

Londonderry, Theresa, late Mar- 
chioness of, 104-108 

Loos, 10-12 

Lumsden, Sir Peter, 65, 75, 78-81, 
83, 86, 87, 102 

Lung Ching, 181 

Lutzk, 148, 153 


Marshall, Gen. Sir W. K., 33, 38 
Maruchak, 89-91 
Mary, Queen, 213, 285 
Maude, General Sir Stanley — 
appreciations of, 12, 13, 22, 23, 

35. 36, 54. 55. 290 
career of, 5, 6 
characteristics of, 4, 6, 28, 31, 

37. 38, 40. 41. 48, 49. 51. 52 
as Commander-in-Chief in Meso- 
potamia, 27-40 

Maude, General Sir Stanley [cont.) — 

commands 13th Division in Meso- 
potamia, 21, 22 

death of, 40, 41 

despatches of, 37, 43—47 

as disciplinarian, 32, 33 

early life of, 4, 5 

in Egypt, 13 

in France, 7, 8 

at Gallipoli, 8-13 

health of, 31, 32 

letters from, 50, 51 

marriage of, 5, 6 

memorial service to, 51-53 

as sportsman, 4, 49 

suggested memorial to, 42, 43 

training New Army, 7 

his transport difficulties in Meso- 
potamia, 13-17 

his views on Gallipoli evacuation, 
10, II, 55 

working day of, 28-30 
Maude, Lady, 52 
Maude, V.C, General Sir F. F., 

father of Sir Stanley Maude, 5, 


Merv, 67, 71, loi 

Metchnikoff, Elias, 159 

Methuen, Lady, 284 

Methuen, Lord, 36, 283, 284, 286, 

Meyendorflf, Baron von, 166 
Michailvosk, port of, 71 
Middlethorpe, Miss, 200-204 
Minehead, 173-175 
Minto, Lady, 5 
Minto, Lord, Governor-General of 

Canada, 5, 6 
Mohammerah, 42 
Money, General, 17, 28, 29, 34 
Monro, Sir Charles, 27 
Monte Carlo, 1 67-1 71 
Mordkin, M., 132, 133, 136 
Mudros, 8 
Munie, Ayah, 56 
Murghab River, the, 78, 81, 89, 91 


Nahr Khalis Canal, 44 

Nastia, maid to Mme Pavlova, 134, 

Neeld, Colonel, 292 
Nery, 290 
Netheravon, 172 
Nicholas, Grand Duke, 116 
Nieuport, Battle of, 291 



Nixon, General Six John, i6, 39 
Nojinsky, M., 144 
Northcliffe, Lord, 215, 282 
Nushki, 73 


Old Age Pensions Act, 210 
Oranburg Railway, the, 67 
Oxus River, the, 66, 67, 97-9 

Paget, Lady Muriel, 145, 151, 162, 

Pamirs, the, 71 

Panjdeh, 67, 78-81, 83-85, 88-91 
Paravicini, Mr. de, 35 
Parry, D. H., 291 
Patricia, Princess, 213 
Pavlova, Mme, 130-140 
Peel, Sir Robert, 209 
Persia, 69, 71, 77 
Peshawar, 66, 100 
Peter the Great, 120-126 
Petrograd, 120-123 
Pless, Prince Henry XV of, 176, 

Porter, General, 292 
Pultenay, General, 7 


Quetta, 66, 75. 77, 88 

Ramadie, 43 

Ramsay, Commander, 213 
Rasputin, 1 17-120 
" Repent-at-Leisure," Lord and 

Lady, 183-198 
Rensburg, 292, 293 
Ridgeway, Sir West — 

early life of, 102, 103 

in charge of Afghan Boundary 
Commission, 66, 75, 87-101 

his knowledge of Afghanistan, 

at Panjdeh, 80, 81 
Ridgeway, Lady, 103, 104 
Ripon, Lord, 85 

Roberts, Earl, 15, 43, 102, 292, 293 
Robertson, Sir Wm., 11, 12, 36, 52 
Rogosin, Capt., 141 
Rosebery, Earl of, 179 
Royal, the Princess, 213 
Russia — ' 

bathing ^customs in, 112, 113 

Russia (cont.) — 

corruption in, 143 

domestic habits in, 113, 114 

discontent in, 118, 119 

experiences in, during Revolu- 
tion, 161-166 

German influence in, 118-121, 

religious observances in, 11 4-1 16 
Russo-Japanese War, 166 

St. Asaph, Bishop of, 209 

Salisbury, Marquess of, 177 

Salonika, 12 

Samara, 37, 42, 45, 46 

Samarcand, 67 

Sannaiyat Position, the, 23, 24, 27, 

Sariks, the, 80, 82, 91, loi 
Seaham Harbour, 109, no 
Selborne, Lord, 214 
Shatt El Adhaim, 45 
Shalt-al-Hai, 37 
Shaw, General, 51 
Sheikh Said, 27 
Shura, maid to Mme Pavlova, 134, 


Sistan, 77 

Skinner, Mr. Cameron, 36 

Skobeloflf, General, 71, 72 

Sladen, Mr. Arthur, 5 

South African War, 5, 292, 293 

Steel, Mr. Theodore, 132 

Stewart, Sir Donald, 73, 75 

Stopford, General, 36 

Streatfield, Colonel Sir Henry, 52 

Suwaikieh Marsh, the, 21 

Suvla, 8 

Taylor, Colonel, 6 

Termez, 67 

Tigris, the, 14, 15, 19, 23-27, 33, 

Townshend, General, 24-26 
Trans-Caspian Railway, the, 66, 67 
Tsar Nicholas IL the late, 69, 119, 

142, 143 
Tsarevitch, Alexis, the lato, 116- 

Tsaritza, the late, 119, 145 

Vaughan, E. L., 51 
Vaughan, John, 292 



Victoria, Queen, 100, no 
Vimy Ridge, 288 


Weigall, Capt., 179 

William II, ex-German Emperor, 

177, 178 
William, ex-German Crown Prince, 

175, 176, iSo, 181 
Wilson, Sir H., 13 
Wilson, President, 68 
Wrey, Sir Bourchier, 19 

Yarkland, 71 

Yates, M.P., Colonel, 81-83 

Younghusband, General Sir George, 

Yousupoflf, Prince Felix, 119, 120 

Zulfikar, 89, 90 
Zulu War, the, 62 





DA Menzies, otuart 

565 Sir Stanley Maude and 

M378ru4 other memories